Hales RSS Presentation Building Tribal Communities in Context

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    15-Nov-2014
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This is a presentation that I did at the Rural Sociological Society annual meeting on working in Native American communities and doing so in a culturally sensitive and relevant manner. Please feel free to contact me for questions. Abstract: Building communities requires that the community/economic development or research efforts occur in the context of the community. Specifically, the sociocultural, economic, political and historical contexts of the community must be understood prior to conducting research and/or development efforts. While not everything can be known or anticipated, a deliberate approach to working in community context provides the developer with a more accurate picture of the challenges and opportunities associated with such research or development. Understanding community context is absolutely vital in working with tribal communities. In the history of the United States, Native Americans have endured significant economic, political, and geographical marginalization at best and genocide at worst. Similarly, Native Americans have also been subjected to unethical research practices by researchers in and outside of academia. Community and economic development efforts have largely been conducted for or on tribal communities with often little input from the tribes. This history had created a high level of distrust of outsiders and of academia at-large. This paper focuses on methods of conducting contextual community and economic development research and outreach in tribal communities. The methods of research and development efforts conducted in tribal context are explored. Examples of successful research and development are also provided.

Transcript of Hales RSS Presentation Building Tribal Communities in Context

  • 1. Building Tribal Communities in Context Brent D. Hales, Ph.D. Associate Dean University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality

2. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Community Context 3. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. COMMUNITY INTERACTIONAL FIELD THEORY Wilkinson (1970) Social interaction occurs within continuously emerging processes. Social interaction is greater in rural areas with denser networks. Closer ties enable greater social cohesion and enforcement of social norms. 4. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT The work that we do in communities must be done in context. Development from and with versus to and for the community. Sustainable initiatives happen in context. 5. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. UNDERSTANDING CONTEXT Communities have context History Culture Economy Religion Politics Race/ethnicity Rural/urban 6. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. UNDERSTANDING CONTEXT History Native Americans have endured significant economic, political, and geographical marginalization at best; genocide at worst. Native Americans have been subjected to unethical research practices by researchers in and outside of academia. 7. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. UNDERSTANDING CONTEXT History Community and economic development efforts have largely been conducted for or on tribal communities with often little input from the tribes. This history had created a high level of distrust toward outsiders and academia. 8. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. MY WORK Worked with tribal communities in four states and with a number of tribal organizations in those states. Community development Strategic planning Entrepreneurial development 9. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Social Reconnaissance 10. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT When going into a new community, what do you look for? Windshield survey What would a new person or a tourist see? Demographics Census data Wikipedia Dont trust it but it is a decent source for introductory information 11. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT Networks Most powerful Not necessarily overt Key Informants/Leadership Government Business Civic Organizations 12. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT Significant issues Op eds last 3-5 years Coffee clubs Leadership Within the organization and external constituents Awareness of who they are Involvement from those key leaders 13. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Case Study 14. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY BACKGROUND Associated with the Tribe for 6 years before being invited to work with them Conducted a strategic planning exercise with a Native American tribe Multiple communities and multiple sites Developed both community-specific and tribal-wide strategic plans 15. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY METHODS Used a multi-modal methodology for conducting the work. Used a nested development structure for the strategic plan. 3-months 6-months 9-months All the way out to 60 months. 16. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY METHODS Conducted a workforce analysis of each community; Conducted an economic base analysis of each community; and, Conducted an assessment of existing assets using the community capitals framework. 17. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY METHODS Meant to be PRAISEworthy Proactive Representative Asset-based Inclusive Sustainable Equitable 18. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY METHODS Focused on the 5 TIONS of Sustainable Development: Promotion Implementation Documentation Evaluation Celebration 19. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY METHODS Tried to answer the questions: What is the project? Where will it take place? When is it to be accomplished? Benchmarks? Who will be take the lead/be involved? How will the project(s) come together? Why this strategy and not another? 20. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Individual/Civic Leadership Surveys 21. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. SURVEY IDENTIFIES Issues in the community Perceptions of leadership Resources available in the community (community capitals framework) Satisfaction/quality of life Communication between residents and leaders Demographics 22. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. USING THE SURVEY Based on a survey instrument created by Jan Flora Useful to help understand issues, networks, and opportunities Used this with communities of all sizes 23. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Proposed Activities 24. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY PROPOSED ACTIVITIES Proposed opportunities for development and potential funding alternatives using the balanced scorecard framework; Conducted focus groups in each community with the express purpose of gaining insight and feedback on the potential development initiatives; Conducted key informant surveys; 25. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY PROPOSED ACITIVITIES Developed a strategy for, and carried out an assessment of existing employment; Developed a holistic, asset-based strategic plan for aligning existing resources, community-supported development initiatives, and tribally-supported initiatives; and, 26. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY PROPOSED ACTIVITIES Developed a timeline for each community to indicate target dates for their development initiatives. 27. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Outcomes 28. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY OUTCOMES Met with tribal leaders and partners to determine desired goals for the project. Developed questionnaires specifically designed to meet those needs. 29. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY OUTCOMES Developed a list of names for focus group discussions. Conducted secondary data analysis on the region as defined by project goals. 30. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY OUTCOMES Conducted focus groups in the communities with representatives from the business community, civic organizations, and key government personnel to assess: Existing assets Issues and opportunities facing the community Infrastructure needs and opportunities Policy recommendations Determined what actions the Tribe and its partners may take to improve the business environment by community 31. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY OUTCOMES Developed individual questionnaires for follow up key informant surveys based on the results of the focus group discussion. Conducted data analyses. 32. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY OUTCOMES Conducted key informant surveys assessing individual respondents perceptions of: Key issues facing each community The communities resources and opportunities What businesses may be missing from the retail selection Community support for project-specific development Local leadership support Recommendations for development 33. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY OUTCOMES Generated preliminary reports of focus group discussion and individual key informant survey results Reported back to the Tribe and its partners on the results of the survey Worked with the Tribe, the communities, and partnering organizations to identify key steps with benchmarks for implementing recommendations 34. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. WORKING IN CONTEXT CASE STUDY OUTCOMES Completed plans of work for each community. Based on a nested model where each project will promote the development of the next model Used the balanced scorecard framework to insure equity, representative approach, and ultimate sustainability of the proposed initiatives Presented plans of work to the Tribal Council, communities, and partners. 35. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Lessons Learned 36. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. CULTURE In working with tribal communities, it is important to ensure that you are being culturally aware and respectful. Do your homework. 37. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. KNOW YOURSELF It is important to have an understanding of who you are to be effective in working tribal communities. It affects how we see the world and thereby how we interact with others. 38. 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. THE WORK Recognize that it takes time, is difficult to publish, and can be some of the most fulfilling work you can be engaged in. Ask quest