This summer I am excited to be working with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (RST) Health Administration through the Ogallala Commons Community Internship Program. I will be helping the Health Administration in establishing their tribal research infrastructure by collecting survey responses for a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. The data collected from these surveys will prioritize RST health concerns, strengthen assets, and allow the Health Administration to address the community’s health needs.
I’ve spent the past three weeks doing in-depth training on how to conduct meaningful and ethical research when working with human subjects. It’s been an enriching experience learning about RST’s legislative process, the Health Administration, and their collaborative partners in creating a tribal research infrastructure. I’ve also been researching how past tribal Community Health Needs Assessments have been conducted to better prepare and present the survey I will be conducting this summer. Another important aspect of my internship is learning about the Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health (CRCAIH), one of the main collaborative partners of the Health Administration. I’m honored to have the ability to work with them and learn about their goals in working with Native communities across Indian Country.
As an enrolled member of the RST who plans on doing research with my tribe in the future, my project is helping me accomplish goals beyond my internship. Native peoples live in extremely vulnerable communities due to displacement and inter-generational trauma and because of this have been largely misrepresented and their culture appropriated in the name of research for many decades. It’s humbling to see the RST take the initiative in establishing a tribal research infrastructure and I am glad I can help with my small part in their journey towards creating one.