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1 CULTURALLY COMPETENT RESEARCH WITH AMERICAN INDIANS AND ALASKA NATIVES: FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE FIRST SYMPOSIUM OF THE WORK GROUP ON AMERICAN INDIAN RESEARCH AND PROGRAM EVALUATION METHODOLOGY 1 Joyce Y. Caldwell, B.S., Jamie D. Davis, Ph.D., Barbara Du Bois, Ph.D., Holly Echo-Hawk, M.S., Jill Shepard Erickson, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., R. Turner Goins, Ph.D., Calvin Hill, B.S., Walter Hillabrant, Ph.D., Sharon R. Johnson, M.A., Elizabeth Kendall, Ph.D., Kelly Keemer, B.S., Spero M. Manson, Ph.D., Catherine A. Marshall, Ph.D., Paulette Running Wolf, Ph.D., Rolando L. Santiago, Ph.D., Robert Schacht, Ph.D., and Joseph B. Stone, Ph.D. 2 This article describes the collective experience of a multidisciplinary network of researchers, practitioners, and program evaluators who support appropriate research and evaluation methods in working with Native peoples. Our experience underlines the critical importance of culture in understanding and conducting research with the diverse populations of American Indians and Alaska Natives, and documents the need for community-based, collaborative, participatory action research. We discuss the major findings of the first American Indian Research and Program Evaluation Methodology national symposium, and articulate a set of 20 guiding principles for conducting research and program evaluation. Keywords: American Indians and Alaska Natives, Community-based Participatory Research, Participatory Action Research, Culture This article presents a call for systematic change in how research and program evaluation are conducted in Indian Country. 3 The authors do not intend to offer innovative research and evaluation methods; rather, we draw upon our collective experience, much of it based on working with individuals who have chronic illnesses and disabilities, to offer consolidated documentation for requiring that research and program evaluation in Indian Country be participatory. Further, we offer 20 guiding
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2 VOLUME 12, NUMBER 1 principles, derived through the First Symposium of the Work Group on American Indian Research and Program Evaluation Methodology (AIRPEM), that we believe are basic to culturally respectful research and program evaluation. While the purposes of research and program evaluation activities often differ, the methods employed may be quite similar; for this reason, reference to research throughout this article can generally be assumed to apply to program evaluation as well. The special circumstances of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) affect research, program evaluation, and service delivery in Indian Country. In this regard, two fundamental considerations merit particular mention: tribal sovereignty and diversity. Tribal sovereignty means that AI/AN communities are sovereign political entities, each with its own form of governance, culture, and history. Second, AI/ANs are often mistakenly viewed as a single ethnic minority population (also referred to as the homogeneity assumption). In fact, over 560 Native nations and
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