On January 21 and February 1, Asst. Director Dr. Ken Lokensgard led discussions on collaborative, ethical, and effective research with Indigenous communities and students. Plateau Center Research Fellow and Educational Psychology faculty member, Dr. Zoe Higheagle Strong (Nez Perce) addressed Indigenous Research Methods. Nakia Williamson and Josiah Pinkham, of the Nez Perce Tribe Cultural Resources Program, opened the meetings, discussed tribal research protocols, and offered important insights throughout the workshops.

Josiah Pinkham and Nakia Williamson
Josiah Pinkham (l) and Nakia Williamson (r) outside of the Plateau Center.

Workshop attendees represented thirteen different departments or programs. They were from both WSU and the University of Idaho. Those participants from WSU were from four different campuses or sites across the state. Five tribes were represented. Attendees were administrators, staff, faculty, graduate students, undergraduates. Among them, there was also a First Nations person from Canada, visiting campus in anticipation of beginning a graduate degree here. We at the Plateau Center and at the Graduate School are grateful for everyone’s participation and support.This was the third in a series of workshops sponsored by the Plateau Center and the WSU Graduate School devoted to Native American graduate student recruitment and mentoring as well as collaborative research with tribes. Each of the workshops is intended for faculty, staff, and researchers. They are supported by the PNW-COSMOS Alliance (funded in part by NSF AGEP-T grant #1432910).

Cindy Gamble (Tlingit), MPH, of Partnerships for Native Health, participated in the Indigenous research workshops via Skype. Partnerships is based in Seattle, and is part of WSU’s Initiative for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH). The Partnership’s mission is to “conduct community centered research, training, education, and outreach to improve the health and quality of life of American Indian and Alaska Native populations.” We, at the Plateau Center, look forward to conversations about possible collaborations.

The next event related to these workshops is the Indigenous Research Conference, to be held at the Plateau  Center on April 1. This conference is organized by the WSU Chapter of the Society for Indian Psychologists, and it is supported by the Plateau Center and the Pacific Northwest Center for Mestizo and Indigenous Research and Engagement. During this conference, which features presentations by faculty, students, and independents scholars, attendees can see many of the topics addressed at the workshops manifested in a variety of research projects.

As always, we encourage members of the tribal communities, graduate students, and faculty members, and staff, who are interested in responsible, collaborative research or who simply want to know more about the Plateau Center and activities such as those describe here to contact us. You can reach Dr. Ken Lokensgard at kenneth.lokensgard@wsu.edu or at 509-335-1055.