Fundamental epistemological differences between Western and traditional Native American (NA) approaches to generating knowledge present both opportunities and challenges for researchers working with NA and Alaska Native (AN) communities. For non-Native researchers, the research process is facilitated by genuine respect for the ability of communities to identify their own needs and provide their own leadership in the research process, as well as by sensitivity to the traumatic history of cultural annihilation that NA communities have endured. NA researchers, trained in Western institutions of higher education, must negotiate professional and NA identities as they strive to collaborate with their own or other communities to develop culturally relevant programs of research. Representing the personal viewpoints of a Native researcher and two non-Native researchers, this article suggests strategies for working with NA and AN communities and offers guidelines for critical self-assessment of personal knowledge, personal and professional attitudes, and outcome expectations relevant for work in Native communities.
- Community-based research
- Native American
- Research methodology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies