Different Communities, Different Timelines
Posted on July 19, 2006
Teresa D. LaFromboise (bio) reminds researchers to be patient when working with tribal communities.
In another project, I tried for over 1 year to get a callback from a site, and was feeling fairly pessimistic about whether it was really going to happen, and in the meantime decided to go on to other communities because I needed the second site, and then lo and behold they called back and said and they were ready to go. I remember calling someone at one of the tribal colleges whom I knew, and expressing some of my frustration about it and he said, "Well, you haven't worked with this community before have you? They will be ready when they're ready. It has nothing to do with you." And so I think patience is a major message. Especially with Indian communities because of all the past exploitation, there's a real sensitivity to it. The people have to know that you're really sincere. One of the tests of that is whether or not you persevere despite all of the roadblocks.
Based on interview with researcher in March 2006.
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