History of Tribal Crime and Justice Research
Historically, most research conducted within tribal communities or about tribal populations has been inappropriate or misleading.
 In some cases, the results were used against members of tribal communities; in others, results were discussed out of context.
As a result, tribes are often wary of researchers' claims of neutrality and objectivity and may be reluctant to participate
In the last few decades, however, communication between American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) people and researchers
has improved, allowing AI/AN people to openly discuss concerns that previous research did not address or problems they confronted
with previous research. A common theme in these discussions is the different expectations that tribes and researchers may
have. Researchers often approach studies with the intent of promoting an academic or personal agenda. On the other hand, when
tribes agree to participate in research, they expect that the knowledge gained will translate into policy changes within their
communities. In general, tribes take the position that science and research should play a supportive role in the development
of healthy and sustained tribal nations.
Collaborating with Native Americans to interpret research results related to tribal communities benefits both the researchers
and tribal communities. It can help researchers avoid over-generalizations that carry stereotypical viewpoints, which in turn
influence future research and reported findings. By participating in research and interpretation together, tribal nations
and researchers can begin to address the serious need to bridge research, practice and policies.
Date Created: February 20, 2013