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Community-Based Participatory Inquiry in Indigenous Communities

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Presentation on theme: "Community-Based Participatory Inquiry in Indigenous Communities"— Presentation transcript:

1 Community-Based Participatory Inquiry in Indigenous Communities
Heather Howard-Bobiwash, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Anthropology, Michigan State University With Special thanks to michael cavanaugh, graduate assistant (anthropology)

2 Overview What is Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR)?
Origins of CBPR and Indigenous communities Why/how CBPR works for Indigenous communities? (4 Rs) Some Challenges to CBPR CBPR Conceptual Models and Frameworks CBPR Best Practices in Indigenous Communities

3 Community-based Participatory research
ACTION Is aimed at change For example: (structural) change power relations or institutions of society (behavioral) change lifestyle choices Community-based Participatory research Addresses an issue, concern or topic raised by the community Community (co)-led, designed, conducted, disseminated Creation or production of knowledge based on systematic study For example: (health) Why are there high rates of cancer? (education) Why do children drop out of school? (social) How can we address housing needs? (economic development) Should we develop a wind farm? (environmental) How can we make our neighborhood safer? (culture) What will happen to our knowledge of the water if it is polluted? …………...? For example: The project is headquartered in the community Community members decide what kinds of methods work best Community members carry out the research Community members are co-authors on articles reports are shared with community before other scholars For example: (hypothesis-driven) women who do not have a regular primary care provider are more likely to develop cervical cancer (grounded-theory) Interviews with women discovered that experience with sexual abuse prevented them from seeking gynecological care

4 Origins of cbpr & par (participatory action research)
Social justice movements (1950s and 1960s) Decolonization in the global south Education Activism and popular education of the poor and critical analysis of oppression, and therefore liberation through knowledge

5 Origins of cbpr & par (participatory action research)
Paolo Freire, Brazilian educator/philosopher, author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1969): “For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” “.. more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can better transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled. This person is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into dialogue with them. This person does not consider himself or herself the proprietor of history or of all people, or the liberator of the oppressed; but he or she does commit himself or herself, within history, to fight at their side.” “When a word [research] is deprived of its dimension of action, reflection automatically suffers as well; and the word is changed into idle chatter… into an alienated and alienating “blah.” It becomes an empty word, one which cannot denounce the world, for denunciation is impossible without a commitment to transform, and there is no transformation without action.”

6 Origins of cbpr & par (participatory action research)
Peter Park (sociologist University of Amherst, Mass) PAR in the US PAR theory Budd Hall (Ph.D. Adult Education) International Adult Education Movement

7 Origins of cbpr & par (participatory action research)
New” to Indigenous communities? Budd Hall, co-editor special issue on community-based research of the Canadian Journal of Native Studies (1981): the self-determination of Indigenous peoples globally is the collective interest which frames the discussion and is described as the “right to exist as distinct peoples and to prosper in their own cultures and traditions” at the local level and as part of an international movement (Jackson et al. 1981: 1). that “culture is at the heart of the struggle for self-determination of native people… [and it] remains a fundamental responsibility of practitioners of community-based training and research and those involved in Native Studies to explore the dimensions of [culture] and its implications for the broader struggle for indigenous self-determination”. (Jackson et al. 1981: 3).

8 Origins of cbpr & par (participatory action research)
“New” to Indigenous communities? “tribally-driven participatory research” on health issues in the southwest dating to 1930s (Mariella, Brown and Carter 2012: 45) in describing framework for research on Innu perspectives of the landscape of Labrador, Christopher Fletcher writes the “philosophy behind CBPR has evolved significantly since the 1970s at the insistence of indigenous peoples’ organizations” (Fletcher 2003: 31).

9 Origins of cbpr & par (participatory action research)
“New” to Indigenous communities? Regarding the research project, “Indians in the City” – Toronto, , Native people “should be involved in the planning, organizing, and conduct of the study” (IEAC 1967: 7)… and non-Aboriginal professionals involved were warned that it could not be a “sterile project: one that could not rock the boat,” nor one that was just “another interview project for some non-Indian to earn further merit degrees, and not really benefit Indian people” (TNT 1970: 1)… The project will use action-research which will “use political pressure to change such legislation [which negatively impacted Aboriginal peoples in cities]… Action-research can make changes that will affect Toronto, Ontario, and perhaps all of society. The project will be about Indians, By Indians, for Indians” (TNT 1970: 1, emphasis in original). In Howard, “Collaborating and Elaborating an Indigenous Epistemology of the Production of Knowledge in Urban Aboriginal Community-Engaged Research” Collaborative Anthropologies, forthcoming. Orlando Fals-Borda (Columbian scholar): “the roots to participatory research can also be found long before in the applicative combination of theory and practice as evidenced in the individual and collective lives of those from indigenous societies,” (quoted in Ferreira and Gendron, 2009: 155)

10 Origins of cbpr & par (participatory action research)
The “new” CBPR in Indigenous communities? since the 1990s origins in public health, education, and health research, largely from the “outside” disconnect from earlier CBPR in Indigenous communities (minus the structural “action”) broader critical assessment of structural inequalities and social justice aspects of CBPR are largely sanitized disconnected from decolonizing, critical race theorists, feminist or other critical movements focuses on behavioral change focuses on re-framing the research process itself answer to critique of “helicopter” or “parachute” research

Some “gold standards” of the new CBPR in Indigenous communities: mutual beneficence of the research conscious equitable distribution of power between university researchers and community-based partners over research design, methods, data collection, ownership, and dissemination of findings research process which recognizes, privileges, and fosters community strengths and resources, aims for community life improvement, utilizes a holistic framework for understanding health, social and other targeted topics of research (Laveaux and Christopher 2009, Sahota 2010).

1. Respect: research partnerships that value diverse indigenous knowledges, acknowledges that expertise comes from local traditions and cultures, addresses the power imbalances between community members and researchers by not privileging “expert” knowledge from the academy over community expertise… community members and local ways of knowing must play a key role in guiding the research through all stages including design, implementation, analysis and distribution of the findings.

13 the research is relevant to the experiences of Indigenous peoples,
WHY/HOW CBPR WORKS FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES (the “4 Rs”) 2. Relevance: the research is relevant to the experiences of Indigenous peoples, should be developed in partnership with community members ensures that it is taking up issues that are important to the community

3. Reciprocity: requires that researchers and communities are engaged in a two-way process of learning and knowledge exchange, ensures that communities directly benefit from their participation in the research. Projects should aim to share resources (information and funding) among the partners, though such efforts as training and hiring community members to be part of the research team. Developing effective training and research relationships can improve both the capacity of university and community researchers. Should develop a shared understanding of how the results of the research will be used to improve the wellbeing of the community. Results need to be accessible and understandable to community members, and should be delivered through community based processes of knowledge exchange.

15 Researchers should actively engage in rigorous self-reflection,
WHY/HOW CBPR WORKS FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES (the “4 Rs”) 4. Responsibility: Researchers should actively engage in rigorous self-reflection, take cues from ongoing engagement and consultation with the community, follow ethical research guidelines of their own institutions, as well as any community based protocol. Centre for Aboriginal Health Research, University of Victoria

A fundamental principle of knowledge production across many Indigenous nations is grounded in relationships from which the previous “four Rs” flow. Research with Indigenous peoples is an engagement in a matrix of relationships between persons, communities (perhaps families), and nations. “Epistemology is the understanding of knowledge that one adopts and the philosophy with which research is approached. This issue cannot be disentangled from history or from the social position one holds within society as a result of that history” (Cochran et al. 2008: 24) “Experience is the foundation for learning. Understanding experience develops over time through dialogue. Learning is a process that is accomplished through interaction with others; it is always a shared, cooperative venture. The foundation of interaction with others is expressed through respect, feeling, a good heart, good intentions, kindness, sharing and a knowledge of self…The community and the individual have reciprocal responsibilities. Learning… is a process that goes through the stages of “seeing” (vision), relating to what it is, figuring it out with heart and mind, and acting on findings in some way (behaviour). Everyone has a responsibility to give back and to consider their actions in light of their effect on generations to come. “ - Elders of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (Stiegelbauer 1997: 82-83).

Time commitments vs. funding and academic schedules Funder-driven interference Post-research intervention and evaluation procedures sustainability Unidirectional flows of knowledge research should be interactive in which community-based knowledge flows to and from those who deliver interventions Institutional (university) limitations Ethics of research review boards (IRB) Lack of value attributed to CBPR for faculty advancement Unwillingness or lack of structures to share funding for indirect costs with communities

The Tri-Council Policy Statement 2, Chapter 9 “Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples of Canada” (2010) Indigenous Nation Models The Tribal Participatory Research Model (Fisher and Ball 2002) Work Group on American Indian Research and Program Evaluation Methodology (AIRPEM) 2005 Research for Tribal Communities Curriculum (National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center) University-based Models and Frameworks Montana State University American Indian Research Opportunities Intergroup Dialogues to Foster Meaningful Engagement

19 The Tri-Council Policy Statement 2, Chapter 9 “Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples of Canada” (2010) respect for the governing authorities, engaging organizations and recognition of the complex authority structures and diversity within communities, research that is mutually beneficial and collaborative in nature research that critically examines how colonial structures and systems can exercise authority over Aboriginal peoples the importance of ensuring community representatives are part of the interpretation and dissemination of research results that research be respectful of community customs and codes of practice that a research agreement be in place to ensure clarity on roles, responsibilities, and intellectual property that Aboriginal research capacity be strengthened by enhancing the skills of community in research methods, project management and ethical review and oversight that the role of Elders and knowledge holders be recognized

20 The Tribal Participatory Research Model (Fisher and Ball 2002)
1. Tribal Oversight: Tribes must have oversight of the project, which consists of three components: Formal resolutions from the recognized tribal governmental authority (usually the tribal council) at the initiation of the collaborative process and at other critical times. Use of tribal oversight committees appointed by the recognized governmental authority. Adoption of tribal research code, which represents a clearly articulated set of standards embedded in a regulatory process (American Indian Law Center, 1999) 2. Use of a Facilitator: Acts as an intermediary between project staff and the oversight committee(s), especially important during pre-implementation planning. Establishes a culturally appropriate process for meeting of community members and researchers. Encourages clear communication, using terminology that is understandable to all. 3. Training and Employing Community Members as Project Staff: Tribal members are especially well suited to roles as research staff because they are an accepted member of the community, they have an understanding of the community, and they are committed to research that may positively affect their community. 4. Culturally Specific Interventions and Assessment: Culturally specific interventions and assessments allow for the incorporation of traditional practices and concepts and create the potential for testing indigenous models of health and well being. Work Group on American Indian Research and Program Evaluation Methodology (AIRPEM) 2005 Research for Tribal Communities Curriculum (National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center)

21 Work Group on American Indian Research and Program Evaluation Methodology (AIRPEM) (Caldwell et al 2005) understand dynamics of postcolonial trauma relational authentic partnerships ownership, control, access, possession (OCAP) existing and developing AIAN ethical guidelines tribal, cultural, and linguistic diversity strengths and cultural protective factors culture-based practices clarity on benefits capacity building do no harm confidentiality and anonymity Tribal or community review tribal or community interpretation define culturally appropriate standards for excellence researcher as advocate collaborations and networks move away from generalizability

22 Research for Tribal Communities Curriculum (National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center) The National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) Policy Research Center has designed a tool to assist tribal leaders, Native students and other Native community members to understand and manage research and program evaluation. Learners are presented with typical research scenarios faced by tribal leadership and are given the opportunity to consider Western research activities, while emphasizing an Indigenous perspective and approach. By recognizing the values of Western research approaches and Indigenous ways of knowing, tribal leaders can choose to reap the benefits of Western research while still respecting their own community standards. This research curriculum is intended to be a resource for tribal leadership as they fulfill their role as responsible and proactive stewards of their Native communities. The curriculum helps start a dialogue in reconciling Indigenous and Western worldviews and provides practical information on how to engage with research. The five learning modules broadly cover the most critical concerns facing Native communities interested in research.

23 University-based Models and Frameworks
Montana State University American Indian Research Opportunities engagement of American Indian students particularly in biomedical research bridging tribal college students to the university database of faculty opportunities K-12 teacher opportunities summer student research opportunities Intergroup Dialogues to Foster Meaningful Engagement To develop self-awareness of ones membership in a social group in the context of systems of power and privilege. To explore similarities and differences across and within social group memberships. To examine the causes and effects of group differences and their impacts at the personal, interpersonal, community, cultural, institutional, and social levels. To foster alliances and other strategies of collaboration across differences. To identify actions that actively contributes to developing more inclusive, equal, and socially just relations between social groups.

Crow Nation, “Community-Based Participatory Research in Indian Country: Improving Health Through Water Quality Research and Awareness”(Cummins et al 2011). Anishnawbe Health Toronto, “Toronto Urban Aboriginal Research Project” (Lavallee and Howard 2011).

25 Thank you! Questions? My contact information: department of anthropology 655 auditorium road, michigan state university east lansing, 48824

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