The excitement is building…

#BPC is getting excited to present with Indigenous scholars at the #NCAI Tribal/Scholar forum 6/12/17 at the #MoheganSun in CT! As we prepare let us reflect and consider who’s voices are heard/privileged and also missing/silent as we do our academic work.

Considerations for “Scientific” Research & Evaluation … 

When you research/evaluate the values, beliefs, assumptions, perspectives, and prejudices

the researcher/evaluator brings to the scientific project, it has an immediate influence and

powerful impact upon the project staff, project participants, and the project itself.

Consider how the researcher/evaluator determines many things before, during, and after the project, including the following list (this is not an exhaustive list):

 who is heard

(and who is voiceless or silenced);

what is focused on

(and what is not included);

the design and method used

(or not used);

the data identified and collected

(or missed and even ignored);

who interprets and what gets interpreted

(or is excluded from the interpretation);

how interpretations are made

(or are not made or are not ever checked for validity and accuracy with community members);

 whose interpretations are valued as scientific and educational knowledge

(or whose are not valued, not present, and/or are not even considered “real” data);

 what conclusions are drawn

(or are not drawn or are not member checked for accuracy);

 how the conclusions are presented or published

(or not presented in the literature or are presented without consent);

who has access and control over the data once the study is done

(or who is powerless to access, control, and own their community’s evaluation data);

and based on evaluation data what policies, programs, and other initiatives continue to get funded

(or not funded, discontinued as programs, or who have policies that are ill-informed).

All of these research/evaluation decisions have a profound and direct impact on the long-term struggles, challenges, and unsolved issues that communities and people face.

Will you be part of the solution to solve these long-standing issues that communities face?

Do you recognize that you are privileged and different in many ways than the communities you work with?  How do you recognize that privilege and move beyond that to take concrete steps to empower and authentically include those often disempowered?

How might that make a difference in your life and in other’s lives?

With culturally and contextually responsive strategies, you can build consideration into projects.

Are you responsible and prepared to do this?

(Adapted by N. Bowman in 2015 from the Howard University Evaluation Training Institute, 2003)

Please do not reprint without permission from Nicole Bowman at nicky@bpcwi.com

Dr. Nicky Prayer Poem

Dear Kiisheelumukweengw (Creator),

Through my tired and my sometimes crabby we roll together and aren’t to shabby. I’m so happy you’re by my side as we grow each year building a legacy with our humility in stride.

Matters of contract quantities and profit margins are work products that represent the world of business’ necessary evils.  But what matters most is the value of a smile, word of thanks, and improved quality of life at community and home levels.

To the North, South, West and East, Waapalaneexkweew accepts the Four Directions responsibilities to bring justice for those most needing peace.  May we continue to be empowering, inspiring, and in service to those who most often get the least.

Anushiik Kiisheelumukweengw for all you allow us to do. May our moccs always walk softly and remember it’s about the teachings and you. Aho.

 -Dr. Nicole Bowman