Gene Thin Elk BA
The 2013 CRCAIH Summit was one of the capstone annual activities for this Center and was a joint effort between many different entities and programs. Approximately 350 people participated during the two day event with more over live-streaming on the internet. Participants learned about work being done across the country in American Indian Health Research. Some of the topics discussed were controversial, such as genetics research and pros and cons were highlighted. There were twenty presentations including four plenary talks, six break-out sessions, five CRCAIH updates on CRCAIH and two training programs in research methodology – entitled ‘Research 101’ and ‘Indigenous Research Methodologies’.
Throughout the summit, opportunities and areas within CRCAIH were presented. Updates highlighted opportunities and resources available to those doing work in American Indian health research in SD, ND and MN. This included pilot grant funding for research projects, information on how communities serve as the foundation for this work and core resources available. In future summits, highlighted projects will be funded through this initiative.
The Summit was about meeting others, good discussion and forward thinking. This was achieved by a roundtable lunch discussion with a total of fifteen important health topics. The purpose of the activity was to stimulate conversation on a research topic with the possibilities of discovering project overlap, creating new projects and identify future collaborators. Also, we learned about unmet training needs that will continue to help define our future center activities.
The answers to American Indian health disparities were within the room so each participant was challenged to take one or two actionable items from the Summit and encouraged to put the wheels in motion to make it happen.