IPE TIG Week: Introduction to the Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation TIG by Erica Roberts and Nicole Bowman

Erica Roberts

Hello and welcome to the Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation (IPE) TIG Week (November 19-24)! I am Erica Blue Roberts, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, IPE TIG Program Chair, and AEA GEDI alumnus. And I’m Nicole Bowman (Mohican/Lunaape) the IPE TIG Chair. As we approach the Colonial celebration and Federal holiday of Thanksgiving, let us reflect on, redefine our understandings, and redirect our behaviors regarding the Original inhabitants of Turtle Island (North America) and Kukuna Auhy (Mother Earth). Together we can move from cultural appropriation and romanticized notions of the first Thanksgiving, to a cultural appreciation for the ongoing contributions by Indigenous people that isn’t limited by a holiday or season.

The IPE TIG was established in 2006 to give voice and recognition to the Indigenous members of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and begin to infuse Indigenous evaluation practices into more mainstream evaluation. Indigenous evaluation approaches were developed as culturally-responsive ways of evaluating programs in Indigenous communities. Indigenous evaluation often values and incorporates Indigenous knowledge, recognizes the negative history of evaluation imposed on many Indigenous communities, and respects tribal and data sovereignty. For more information about Indigenous evaluation, look to the work of IPE TIG Founder – Joan France, IPE TIG Founder – Fiona Cram, IPE TIG Chair – Nicky Bowman, and IPE TIG Program Chair – Erica Roberts.

The IPE TIG strives to achieve the following goals to improve evaluation practices and methods:

  • Developing and disseminating knowledge that helps assure that evaluations in which Indigenous people are among the major stakeholders are culturally responsive and respectful of their interests and rights.
  • Creating a venue for Indigenous evaluators and others working in Indigenous contexts to participate in discourse about evaluation models and methods that support Indigenous values, practices, and ways of knowing.
  • Mentoring and emerging evaluators interested in evaluation in various Indigenous contexts.

This week you will get a chance to read about a variety of Indigenous evaluation topics from the TIG Leadership and its members. We chose to blog this week as it is the week of the Thanksgiving holiday, a time when many misconceptions about American Indians and Alaska Natives are shared. We hope that by providing you with an overview of Indigenous evaluation, you may be inspired to look into other ways that Indigenous knowledge can be integrated into mainstream practices and understandings.

Rad Resources:

To learn more about the IPE TIG, please visit our website., become a member, and check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

No More Pranks-Giving:  How the Evaluation Community Can Start Rebuilding Relations with Indigenous Communities

Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee) Native Appropriations website and blog is an interactive forum for discussing representations and contributions of Native peoples.

Rethinking Schools Blog Archives on “Rethinking Thanksgiving:  Myths and Misgivings

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation (IPE) TIG week. All posts this week are contributed by members of the IPE Topical Interest Group. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

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