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Momentum and Longevity for Tribally-Driven Health Equity Science: Evidence from the Gathering for Health Project

Authors
  • Elm, Jessica H. L.1, 2
  • Handeland, Tina3, 4
  • 1 Center for American Indian Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Great Lakes Hub, Duluth, Minnesota, USA
  • 2 Citizen of the Oneida Nation, Descendant of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohicans
  • 3 Community Research Council Member, Gathering for Health Study
  • 4 Citizen of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
Type
Published Article
Journal
Human biology
Publication Date
Jul 09, 2020
Volume
91
Issue
3
Pages
153–162
Identifiers
DOI: 10.13110/humanbiology.91.3.05
PMID: 32549036
PMCID: PMC7485137
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

American Indian (AI) health disparities have reached crisis levels, and there is a need to develop culturally congruent interventions through meaningful tribal involvement and ethical community-oriented approaches. Hence, it is imperative that researchers and university administrators better understand how research translation occurs for tribally-driven, health equity research projects. Utilizing thematic analysis methods, we examined documents from a 12-year community-based participatory research partnership called the Gathering for Health Project to elucidate factors that ignite momentum and support partnership longevity. The overarching finding was that trust and respect provide a foundation for momentum and longevity and are closely intertwined with other themes identified in analyses. Seven themes were extrapolated and classified into two domains: 1) investments, which are catalyzing factors that advance research, and 2) intermediate processes, which link investments to success. Investment themes include Indigenous scholar involvement, time and effort, establishing rapport, and clear and appropriate communication. Generative co-learning, active participation, and recognition and celebration were themes classified into the domain of intermediate processes. Community-based participatory research principles were reflected in our findings. This study also upholds prior published work on Indigenous research methodologies, promotes the lived experiences of Indigenous people, and contributes to Indigenous theory building and science.

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