Examples of Research Codes:
Additional Research Resources:
State of Arizona:
Virtual Handbook for Research in Indian Country
NPTAO has compiled a comprehensive source for information related to conducting research activities in Indian Country. In this Virtual Handbook you will find:
- Multimedia resources including video, PowerPoint, and pdf
- Tribal research codes, ordinances, and protocols
- A bibliography of academic research in Indian Country
- Research guides and model protocols
- Links to additional resources including research councils worldwide
NPTAO Draft Statement on Guidelines for Conducting Research in Tribal Communities
Academic researchers have historically and continue to devote their careers to the study of indigenous peoples, or to performing research within the boundaries of tribal lands. This research typically involves qualitative and/or quantitative data collection and analyses, in an array of disciplines including medical and related health and behavioral studies, education, social sciences including archaeology, anthropology and linguistics, the arts, traditional cultures, natural resource protection and economics, indigenous law and policy, and economic/community development.
Research involving Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians includes a host of issues that may or may not be present or apparent when dealing with other ethnic groups. Native American tribes are sovereign government entities with their own laws, protocols and procedures that must be followed when conducting research that affects their communities. Historical, socioeconomic, political, cultural, and language factors also must be considered. It is important for all researchers to be aware of these issues, even if they do not anticipate directly dealing with tribes. This is especially true in Arizona, which has a high population of Native Americans and where our institutions of higher education actively recruit and serve Native American students.
Tribal Approval Process
Researchers working on American Indian reservations must comply with local requirements for the conduct of research and should demonstrate to the University of Arizona’s Human Subjects Protection Program that all required local approvals have been acquired or are imminent prior to submitting a protocol to the IRB. This approval may vary depending on the jurisdiction of the tribe or nation on whose territory the research will be conducted. Researchers should contact the tribal headquarters, tribal attorney or other official tribal representative to determine the appropriate form of review and protocol. Researchers must make every effort to inform appropriate tribal entities of their research activities.
Proposals for research on American Indian reservations must demonstrate that research procedures are appropriate given the laws and culture of the tribal nation in which the research will be conducted and that the researcher has established the appropriate relationships within the tribal jurisdiction in which he or she intends to work. Researchers should keep in mind that every tribal group is unique in their cultures, languages, governing, and political structures. Researchers should also be aware that the federal Indian Health Service (IHS) has an established IRB system that is responsible for reviewing research conducted on or through IHS clinics on and off reservation territories.
Wherever research is conducted, it must be carried out in a way that honors the autonomy and dignity of all persons and embodies the principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice. Federal regulations require the protection of the rights and welfare of human research subjects (45 CFR 45) as reflected in The University of Arizona's Human Subjects Protection program Policies and Procedures.
Upon request NPTAO can assist, consult with tribes to develop or revise their own research guidelines/protocols/codes. Researchers can contact NPTAO for information on ethical research guidelines, tribal contact information, etc.