Unheard Alaska: culturally anchored participatory action research on sobriety with Alaska Natives

Am J Community Psychol. 2004 Jun;33(3-4):263-73. doi: 10.1023/b:ajcp.0000027011.12346.70.


Alcohol research in Alaska Native communities has a contentious history. This project has attempted to address a critical need for research to guide alcohol abuse prevention and treatment with Alaska Natives using culturally anchored participatory action research. The process of grounding the research methodology in the culture and community is described, along with its contribution to community psychology's understanding of the importance of cultural factors. Tensions between indigenous values and ways of knowing, and Western research methodologies are delineated, along with how these tensions were resolved. Important issues that arose in doing culturally anchored participatory action research are described. These included the development of a community of inquiry, key methodological decisions, the empowerment of participants as coresearchers, and flexibility in research implementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alaska
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Culture*
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Humans