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ResourcesHuman Research EthicsNew curriculum prioritizes tribal sovereignty, cultural respect in scientific research of American Indian, Alaska Native communities – UW News (Kim Eckart | February 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

New curriculum prioritizes tribal sovereignty, cultural respect in scientific research of American Indian, Alaska Native communities – UW News (Kim Eckart | February 2018)

 


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When scientists have conducted research in Native American communities, the process and the results have sometimes been controversial.

There have been a few well-known cases, such as the 1979 Barrow Alcohol Study, in which researchers examined substance use in the tiny Arctic Circle town and issued findings to the press, before briefing the local community. Media coverage interpreting the findings described an “alcoholic” society of Iñupiats “facing extinction,” while the people of Barrow (now known as Utqiaġvik) felt betrayed, and researchers faced questions and criticism.

Then in 1990, members of the Havasupai Tribe gave DNA to an Arizona State University researcher for the study of diabetes; when they learned their blood samples had been used for other studies as well, they filed a lawsuit, ultimately winning a financial settlement and the return of their DNA.

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