Native Hawaiian Voices: Enhancing the Role of Cultural Values in Community Based Participatory Research

Calif J Health Promot. 2010;8:52-62.

Abstract

Following the goals of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), this paper describes how Native Hawaiian values emerged as a methodology for the conduct of a study with Native Hawaiians residing in Southern California. The equitable placing of community values side by side with scientific values show that community concepts can parallel and extend CBPR premises and are more than a variable to be added in the analysis. The community partners, whose voices guide this paper, introduced the values associated with the concepts of "aloha," "mālama," "maihilahila," "na'auao," and "ano ano hua." These concepts were employed and maintained throughout the study that assessed diet, obesity, and psychosocial factors related to food and nutrition as a cancer prevention method. We describe and examine these values in light of persistent challenges in CBPR; ensuring that the topic is a community driven issue, fair representation and data dissemination. We argue that Native Hawaiian values are touchstones that intersect in important ways with the goals of CBPR - equality, respecting each other's strengths and the elimination of health disparities for future generations.

Keywords: Community Based Participatory Research; Community Perspectives; Native Hawaiian Values; Native Hawaiians in Southern California.