Moving forward: breaking the cycle of mistrust between American Indians and researchers

Am J Public Health. 2013 Dec;103(12):2152-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301480. Epub 2013 Oct 17.


American Indians (AIs) have some of the poorest documented health outcomes of any racial/ethnic group. Research plays a vital role in addressing these health disparities. Historical and recent instances of unethical research, specifically the Havasupai diabetes project, have generated mistrust in AI communities. To address the concerns about unethical research held by some AIs in the Heartland (Midwest), the Center for American Indian Community Health (CAICH) has launched a series of efforts to inform AIs about research participants' rights. CAICH educates health researchers about the importance of learning and respecting a community's history, culture, values, and wishes when engaging in research with that community. Through community-based participatory research, CAICH is also empowering AIs to assert their rights as research participants.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Legal Case
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Arizona
  • Blood Specimen Collection / ethics
  • Community Networks
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology*
  • Ethics, Research*
  • Genocide / history
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American* / statistics & numerical data
  • Minority Health
  • Trust*