Health and Wellness: AIHEC Native American Research Center for Health (NARCH)

Writing Workshop Presentation

Dr. Tessa Evans Campbell presented a two day training session to enhance the professional writing skills for the NARCH TCUs. The focus of her presentation was on the development of an introduction and framing the message of an article with the training culminating in the development of a writing plan.

Third Annual AIHEC Behavioral Health Institute


Historical Trauma and Community Based Participatory Research

The AIHEC NARCH Project is designed to build the research capacity in behavioral health at the Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). An important component of this effort is the provision of an annual Behavioral Health Institute to provide professional development in behavioral health research theory, practice, and technical assistance. The third institute was held on May 23-27, 2016, and the content was driven primarily by those eleven TCUs who were successful in competing for support to establish research initiatives in behavioral health.

In developing the NARCH Project, AIHEC recognized two important factors with regard to behavioral health research. The first was the impact of historical trauma that American Indian communities have experienced and continue to experience. This is an important concept to recognize in doing research in this field. In addition, AIHEC recognized that American Indians are traditionally collective societies whose decisions are made by the group or by elders, and not on an individual basis. This dynamic is an important cultural process to consider in designing research and found that the use of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), when operationalized in American Indian communities facilitated tribes as equal partners with regard to research resulting in tribal communities participating in the identification of the problem, the research design, the selection of measures, subjects and findings.

Purpose and Structure of the Institute

The Institute met for four and a half days with the goal of furthering the development of research capacity in behavioral health for TCUs through presentations, research experience of Cohort 1 TCUs, small group breakouts, interactive activities, reflections on readings, and reflection on one’s own research experience. Participants will gain an appreciation of the impact of historical trauma and CBPR strengths and challenges, as well as learn hands-on skills necessary for participating effectively in CBPR projects. Both academic discussions and experiential exercises will reflect a commitment to co-teaching and co-learning.


  1. American Indian Historical Trauma Experiences with Research by Dr. Nate St. Pierre. This presentation provides an overview of American Indians experience with research in the past and its contribution to distrust.
  2. Historical Trauma and Behavioral Wellness Among American Indians and Alaska Natives by Dr. Myra Parker. Dr. Parker provides a broad overview of historical trauma in the context of American Indian/Alaska Native communities and compares and differentiates historical trauma from multi-generational trauma.
  3. Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities by Dr. Myra Parker. This presentation provides an understanding of theories, principles, and strategies of advantages and limitations of community-based participatory research approaches and skills necessary for participating effectively in CBPR projects.
  4. Protection of Human Subjects by Dr. Cynthia Pearson. This presentation defines the role of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and the researcher training to minimize physical, emotional, and social risks.
  5. Effectively Working with IRBs by Dr. William Freeman. The importance of researchers working in collaboration with the IRB is reviewed in this presentation including specific changes that need to be taken back to the IRB for review.
  6. CBPR Meets BHRN by Mr. Hiram Small Leggs and Dr. William Freeman. NWIC initiated a student-driven research project and this presentation reveals some preliminary findings.
  7. Quantitative Research: Crunching Numbers and Analyzing Part 1, Part 2 by Dr. Janet Gordon. This presentation is an introduction to quantitative analysis and describes types of study questions and possible statistical analysis of each type of question.
  8. Comprehensive Community Behavioral Health Needs Assessment by Dr. Patricia Conway and Ms. Jackie Simonson. Cankdeska Cikana Community College describes its process in completing a comprehensive community health needs assessment within two years.
  9. Neurodecolonization: Examining the Connections between Mindfulness Practices and Traditional Indigenous Knowledge and Contemplative Practices by Dr. Michael Yellow Bird. Dr. Yellow Bird uses neuroscience research to examine how mindfulness approaches and traditional Indigenous contemplative practices can train the mind and positively change the structure of the brain.
  10. Community-Based Behavioral Health Research and Education at Diné College by Mark Bauer. Dr. Bauer describes Diné College's "Positive Community Norms (PCN)" model including examples of PCN campaigns.
  11. Teaching and Fostering Resilience in a Research Enhancement Program for American Indians by Mark Bauer. This presentation describes a summer research enhancement program based in Diné culture.
  12. American Indian Life Skills (AILS) Curriculum by Dr. Teresa LaFromboise. This presentation describes the AILS curriculum which serves as a framework for life skills development and suicide prevention. AILS Critical Lessons
  13. Building a Paraprofessional Health Care Workforce through Tribal Colleges: Reimaging Health Care in Tribal Communities by Dr. Billie Jo Kipp. An overview of the Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) development and current behavioral health certificates and degree program with an emphasis on Blackfeet Community College is presented.
  14. Historical Trauma Course Series by Ms. LaVerne Parker and Ms. Anne Johnstone. Stone Child College describes its three course series on historical trauma: 1) Theory of Historical Trauma, 2) Cycles of Trauma and Addiction, and 3) Researching the Phenomenon of Historical Trauma. USD Course 1 Unit 2, Part 2: Transcending Trauma, Arnold and His Hero Journey Exercise
  15. Scholarship and Writing for Peer Review Journals by Dr. Teresa McCarty. This presentation describes the process of writing peer-reviewed journal articles with advice from an editor's perspective.
  16. First Cut: A Journal Manager's Perception of Quality Research by Ms. Natasha Floersch. This presentation provides a journal manager's experience regarding quality research articles with potential for peer review. Resources and Tips for Scientific Writing and Citations
  17. Qualitative Research: Strengthening Your Data Collection and Analysis by Dr. Joan LaFrance. The presentation describes the types of qualitative research analysis that can be done within the types of research project supported by the AIHEC NARCH behavioral health research capacity building efforts.