Protecting the navajo people through tribal regulation of research

Science and Engineering Ethics 12 (3):491-507 (2006)
This essay explores the process and issues related to community collaborative research that involves Native Americans generally, and specifically examines the Navajo Nation’s efforts to regulate research within its jurisdiction. Researchers need to account for both the experience of Native Americans and their own preconceptions about Native Americans when conducting research about Native Americans. The Navajo Nation institutionalized an approach to protecting members of the nation when it took over Institutional Review Board (IRB) responsibilities from the US Indian Health Service (IHS) in 1996. While written regulations for the Navajo Nation IRB are not dissimilar, and in some ways are less detailed than those of the IHS IRB, in practice the Navajo Nation allows less flexibility. Primary examples of this include not allowing expedited review and requiring prepublication review of all manuscripts. Because of its broad mandate, the Navajo Nation IRB may also require review of some projects that would not normally be subject to IRB approval, including investigative journalism and secondary research about Navajo People that does not involve direct data collection from human subjects.
Keywords Native Americans  Ethics  Research  Navajo People  Government  Regulation
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-006-0047-2
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