NCAI Policy Research Center Quarterly E-Update, July 2014

Published on Jul 31, 2014


New Diabetes Research: “Teeth and heavyset kids: Intervention similarities between childhood obesity and oral health interventions within Native American societies”. The Journal of Indigenous Research (Volume 3, Issue 1) recently published an article by a group of researchers from the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, and SUNY-Buffalo that conducts a meta-analysis of 120 articles on obesity and oral health interventions among Native populations from 1985-2010 to tie common threads across. These commonalities included culturally tailored activities, family components, healthy diets, and the (temporal) length of the interventions.
35 New Articles on American Indian & Alaska Native Health in a Special Issue of the American Journal of Public Health. In June 2014, the American Journal of Public Health released a special issue that has been in the works for over two years. Reflecting the work of Native and non-Native scholars, articles emphasize public health surveillance, exploring patterns and trends in mortality data and describing efforts to link IHS mortality data with other datasets.
Reports Recently Released. There have been a number of reports released recently with data and policy information relevant to tribal nations. These include:
Seeking Justice for our Men & Women:
Economic Indicators:
Education & Language:
Child Welfare:
Food Security:
Environmental Health:
Get published: Native American Studies Graduate Research Journal. Submit yourarticles, book reviews, and creative works for review to the NASGRJ, an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed publication that supports graduate student research related to Native American Studies. The deadline is September 15, 2014.
Connect: 2014 AISES National Conference. Within a cultural framework, the AISES National Conference will showcase opportunities and best practices in STEM, academic and professional achievement, and research by AI/ANs. If you are interested in presenting, submit your proposal, A/V needs, bio, and CV by August 4, 2014.
Collaborate: 2014 Indigenous Health Summit: Food, Medicine and Other Traditional Sources of Healing. The Research for Indigenous Community Health Center (RICH) at the University of Minnesota Duluth is hosting their 3rd Annual summit at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel from September 28th-30th. Abstracts must be received by August 15, 2014.
Be present: Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Conference 2015. The 7th Annual meeting of NAISA is taking place June 4-6, 2015, in Washington, DC. and the call for individual papers is now open. The deadline is November 3, 2014. Please visit the site for submission instructions.
Survey on the Trafficking of Native Peoples: At our recent Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum in Anchorage, a poster presentation was featured on the contemporary sex trafficking of Native peoples. As little is known about the scope and scale of this issue, a survey is being distributed to gather data and build a dissertation research study.
Survey on off-reservation tribal citizens: The Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona is currently collecting information to help tribes understand the extent to which American Indian young adults ages 18-29 living away from tribal lands feel connected to their Native communities.
Informed Decision-Making: Powered by Data. The 2014 National Center for Education Statistics STATS-DC Data Conference will take place July 28-August 1 in Washington, DC.
Forging Alliances for Action: Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment across Fields of Practice. The University of Illinois-Urbana College of Education is hosting a conference on culturally responsive research methodologies, as well as evaluation in indigenous communities, September 17-20 in Chicago, IL.
Creativity, Vision, and Drive: Toward Full Representation in STEM. The SACNAS National Conference is taking place October 16-18 in in Los Angeles, CA.
Social and Economic Change on American Indian Reservations: A Databook of the US Censuses and the American Community Survey, 1990-2010. This new resource provides data and information on reservation economies, tribal citizen demographics for those living on reservations, and trends in per capita incomes over time.
A New Look at Local Employment: Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI) Explorer. The QWI Explorer is a new, web-based analysis tool that allows user to engage in-depth with the Census Bureau’s QWI dataset. With bar charts and interactive tables (line charts and thematic maps are in development), users can visually compare, rank, and aggregate QWIs across time, geography, and/or firm and worker characteristics.
Our 2014 Strategic Priorities:
·         Ensure that data is collected from Native people in a way that protects and benefits tribal sovereignty.
·         Partner with academic institutions, nonprofits and government agencies to improve data quality.
·         Share successes among tribes to build capacity and advance policy research.
·         Disseminate new data, best practices, and technical assistance across Indian Country.
·         Foster regional support for tribal research.
Latest Policy Brief: Investing in Healthy Tribal Communities: Strengthening Solid Waste Management through Tribal Public Health Law. As sovereign nations, tribes have a vestedinterest in environmentally safe waste disposal, keeping the land, water, and air clean for futuregenerations. Where solid waste (e.g. tires, batteries, pesticides) is mismanaged, we find environmental harm, threats to human health, and steep economic costs. This brief highlights tribal initiatives to cleanup open dumps, promote recycling, and expand infrastructure.
Creating Conversation: Ethics, Policy & Practice in Genetics Research. On June 23rd, at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, the NCAI Policy Research Center and the NIH National Human Genome Research Institute hosted a symposium titled, “A Spectrum of Perspectives: Native Peoples & Genetics Research.” Click here to be directed to the live recording of the event.  
Moving Policy Innovation through Research: 9th Annual Tribal Leader/Scholar Forum Proceedings. This year’s TLSF was held in Anchorage, Alaska at NCAI’s Mid Year Conference. The proceedings document includes abstracts and PowerPoint slides from the 29 conference presentations and images from the 8 poster presentations.
Soon to Launch: Tribal Public Health Law Database. With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Indian Health Board, we will soon launch a national database that features laws, policies, and codes that tribes have established to address public health issues (i.e. pollution, water quality, food safety, etc.) in their communities. We have collected close to 400 codes and are securing tribal permissions to post them on the new site. If your tribe would be interested in sharing its codes—to serve as a model for other tribes looking to develop or refine their own—please contact
Ongoing: Supporting Innovative Diabetes Research in Native Contexts. In partnership with Washington University in St. Louis, we are working to eliminate disparities in Type 2 diabetes by translating evidence-based interventions to diverse communities. On July 23, we co-hosted the event “Getting Behind the Numbers: A Data & Policy Institute” in Denver with the University of Colorado’s Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health. Researchers committed to diabetes translation in Native contexts can visit for more information.
Under Review: National Science Foundation Grant Proposal on Tribal Labor Force Data. Earlier this year,we submitted a proposal to the NSF to strengthen the capacity of tribes to collect and manage their own demographic data (e.g., housing, labor force, and enrollment). If your tribe has collected its own demographic data or would like support in doing so in the future, please contact
Values, Stakeholders, and New Narratives: A Roadmap for Collaborative and Effective Evaluation in Tribal Communities. The NCAI Policy Research Center participated in a Tribal Evaluation Workgroup to create a guide for scientifically and culturally rigorous evaluation in the context of tribal child welfare. Further resources & presentations are available– get them quickly; online access expires August 31, 2014!
Here to Help: Interested in Hosting a Research Ethics and Stewardship Training?At the NCAI Policy Research Center, we have developed a five-module curriculum to help tribal leaders make informed decisions and be proactive about shaping the future of their communities by deepening understandings of research ethics, data collection, and program evaluation. If you are interested inscheduling a training, please contact
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