One of the four core functions of the Policy Research Center is to build the capacity of tribal governments, tribal organizations, and Native students. We work with these audiences to support their efforts to determine local research agendas, collect and analyze data, and develop the expertise and experience to conduct research. Tribes have varying desires to be involved in research. Some tribes choose not to be involved in research at all.
The goal of the Center is to assist tribal communities in gaining the information, skills, and experience they need to be involved in whatever type and level of research they desire. An important component of this preparation is a basic introduction to data collection, research, and program evaluation that makes research understandable and relevant. These activities put research squarely in the context of Indigenous values and the practices of our ancestors, who gathered, compiled, and passed down knowledge that helped our communities survive and thrive for thousands of years.
The Center and our partners have developed a five-module, interactive curriculum that gives elected tribal leaders the basic information they need to feel comfortable managing research in their community. The Center also offers occasional training in tribal communities on the curriculum. Finally, a variety of other publications and resources, including tribal research review policies and processes, are available to support tribes and tribal organizations in building their capacity to be involved in research.
For further information about the Center’s capacity building work follow these links:
- Overview of NCAI PRC Research Curriculum project
- Research Regulation Paper Outlines the wide variety of options for creating a research review process and the complex issues that American Indian/Alaska Native communities schould consider. This policy paper provides guidance to communities sorting through these complicated decisions.
- Example of a Memorandum of Cooperative Agreement The Osage Nation created this draft agreement as a mechanism to facilitate and sustain collaborative efforts between the Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center and various tribal, intertribal, educational, and other public interest organizations. desiring to advance research and education relating to Osage history and culture. This MOA could be utilized to formalize a relationship between the tribe and an institution and to clarify responsibilities related to an exchange of ideas and protocols involved in researching archives in the areas of Osage history.
- Example of a Memorandum of Understanding The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) created this MOU as part of their tribal case management project. It specifies the elements of a data collection and sharing relationship between NICWA and partnering tribes