Online Program

A partnership to build research capacity on the rez

Monday, November 4, 2013

Shireen Rajaram, Ph.D., Department of Health Promotion and Social and Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, Omaha, NE
Carolyn Fiscus, M.S., Department of Indigenous Studies, Little Priest Tribal College, Winnebago, NE
Background: The Little Priest Tribal College (LPTC) and the College of Public Health at University of Nebraska Medical Center (CoPH-UNMC) partnered to develop a 3-credit hour course, “Indigenous Research Methods.” The course was built on the following five values: a) indigenous knowledge is valued; b) research is culturally defined and is not neutral; c) responsible stewardship includes knowing how to understand and interpret data and research; d) tribes shall exercise sovereignty when conducting research; and e) research must be of benefit to the people. Integral to the process was the integration of the Winnebago culture and history.

Objectives: The objectives were to increase: LPTC students' understanding of research methods, awareness of urban and tribal health issues affecting American Indian communities, and create a pipeline programs to increase the diversity of the health related workforce by expanding health career options for tribal college students.

Methods: The course was co-lead by an LPTC and a COPH-UNMC instructor with guest lectures by CoPH-UNMC faculty using distance education and on-site presentations. The project was based on community engagement principles of building trust, open and authentic communication, equity and social justice.

Results / Conclusion: Eight out of ten students completed the course that was well received by both institutions. This mode information transfer and pedagogical exchange between minority serving institutions and an academic health center, geared toward enhancement of undergraduate curriculum can be replicated in other contexts.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of building research capacity among American Indian college students. Describe how a tribal college can work collaboratively with an academic health center to design and offer a research methods class on the reservation.

Keyword(s): American Indians, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am medical sociologist and health promotion faculty in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Among my scientific interests has been community engagement and elimination of health disparities. I have received federal, state and local funding for the development of research and service learning projects. For the past three years, I have worked closely with the American Indian communities in the Midwest in building community engagement and research capacity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.