SWO Chapter 77 Research Code

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Council recognizes the value of research to the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, to Native American people, and to society in general; and accepts that there is responsibility to bear a fair share of the burdens and risks of research along with other communities.  However, historically, research has been conducted with Native populations that presented undue risks or harm to the individuals, community or resources, or that misrepresented information regarding language, culture, and traditions and/or have deviated from the original intent of the study outside of the approved protocols.  Given this history, the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Council recognizes the need for research oversight to protect the people and resources of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate.

SWO Chapter 77 is the tribal law that governs all research performed within the boundaries of the Lake Traverse Reservation. The purpose of this Code is to define tribal research policies, and to establish a means by which tribal research policies will be administered by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and to provide for general procedures by which the Local Research Review Board will grant permission to researchers to conduct research on the Lake Traverse Reservation.

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Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Research Office Current Research Projects

Listed below are abstracts of the studies that are either ongoing or are recently completed. To learn more about the study, contact the Research Office for more information or to request a copy.

“Understanding the Context of Northern Plains American Indian Teen Pregnancy: Phase 2 (My Journey)”

Project PI: DenYelle Kenyon, Ph. D
Permit Approval date: 9/3/13
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a newly developed teen pregnancy prevention program with youth in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.

“ASPIRE – Achieving Success by Promoting Success in Education and Employment”

Project PI: Sara McCormick, MPA; Mary Livermont, SD Site Coordinator
Permit Approval date: 11/17/14
This project studies youth ages 14-16 who receive SSI, half of youth and families will receive interventions to improve educational & employment outcomes.

“The American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (AI/AN FACES)”

Project PI: Ann Linehan, Jerry West
Permit Approval date: 1/13/15
This project gathers in-depth descriptive information about the characteristics, experiences, and outcomes of children and families served by Head Start programs in Region XI (SWO sites) and to observe the relationships among family and program characteristics, classroom quality, and school readiness.

“American Indian and Alaska Native Beliefs and Practices: What are the perceived barriers to access and utilization of healthcare?”

Project PI: Lisa Daniel
Permit Approval date: 10/29/15
This project intends to explore the health beliefs and the barriers to access and utilization of healthcare services provided by IHS.

“The impact and challenges experienced by tribal governments implementation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)”

Project PI: Melissa E. Riley, Ph.D.
Permit Approval date: 2/16/16
The purpose of the research is to inform SMART of the successes, challenges, and experiences of tribes who have successfully implemented, preparing to implement, or considering whether or not to implement.

“Project Ina: Holistic Improvement of Maternal Health on the Lake Traverse Reservation”

Project PI: Nivedha Kannapadi
Permit Approval date: 6/21/16
This study seeks to assess the climate of maternal health on the Lake Traverse Reservation during and shortly after pregnancy, specifically focused on the accessibility, significance, and socialization of information surrounding this topic. The data collected from this pilot study will be used to inform future studies and potential interventions based on sharing information about pregnancy.

“Our Youth, Our Future”

Project PI: Randall C. Swaim, Ph.D., Linda R. Stanley, Ph.D.
Permit Approval date: 6/21/16
The Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research at Colorado State University proposes to conduct a survey of substance use and related risk and protective factors among the 7th – 8th grade students at Enemy Swim Day School (ESDS). The study is part of an ongoing effort to understand the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors regarding substance use among youth living on or near American Indian reservations. The ESDS was selected randomly from among over 500 schools nationwide. No individual student, ethnicity, tribal affiliation, or community will be identified in the report of the students’ responses.

“A Community Readiness Assessment (CRA) as the First Stage of Safe Healthy Children: Improving Immunization Series Completion in Rural American Indian Communities”

Project PI: Linda Littlefield, MSW
Permit Approval date: 9/20/16
This project seeks to improve the immunization completion and coverage levels in American Indian children in the Great Plains Area.

“Dissemination, Implementation, and Evaluation of Native STAND in American Indian Communities”

Project PI: William Lambert, PhD
Permit Approval date: 9/20/16
This project will disseminate and implement an evidence-based culturally-specific curriculum to reduce high-risk behaviors in AI/AN teens.

“Adapting and testing the feasibility of Tribal Head Start REDI with Native American children in South Dakota”

Project PI:  Janet Welsh, Ph.D.
Permit Approval date:  11/29/16
The Head Start REDI (Research based, Developmentally Informed) program was developed with the goal of improving the long-term success of at-risk children.  The REDI program incorporates evidence-based curricula and professional development activities for teachers into regular Head Start programming.

“Today and Beyond Project: An Educationally-based Mentorship Intervention”

Project PI:  Crystal Aschenbrener
Permit Approval date:  1/23/17
This project is a mixed methods case study of an educationally-based mentorship intervention program that supports an underrepresented at-risk group of youth at the 7th and 8th grade level.  Following a strengths based approach with the intervention occurring at the tribal school, the project supports the tribal school youth who are the mentees while the mentors are college students from two universities.

Eat Smart, Play Hard—The Oyate Way

Project PI:  Suzanne Stluka, MS, RD, LN
Permit Approval date:  3/20/17

The overall objective of the Eat Smart Play Hard (ESPH) project is to test the efficacy of a 6-week nutrition and physical activity curriculum that is culturally relevant to South Dakota’s American Indian population in changing diet and physical activity knowledge and behavior.

SD Tribal PRAMS Project

Project PI:  Jennifer Giroux, MD, MPH

Permit Approval date:  3/20/17

The 2016 South Dakota Tribal Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (SD T-PRAMS) proposes a Point-in-Time surveillance project conducted among American Indian women living in one of (4) reservation communities: The Lake Traverse Reservation and Standing Rock Reservations, which span North and South Dakota, and the Crow Creek and Flandreau reservations, which are located solely within South Dakota borders.  SD T-PRAMS will provide current and useful Tribal-level MCH data to guide policy and inform programmatic activities designed to improve women’s health, reduce disparities, and foster positive maternal and child health outcomes.

The Association of Developmental Defects of Enamel with Severe-Early Childhood Caries: a retrospective chart review

Project PI:  John Zimmer, DDS

Permit Approval date:  3/20/17

The retrospective chart review would be limited to children age 1-6 years old and will record the presence of: 1) decayed, missing, and filled teeth, 2) enamel defects, and 3) the need to utilize a general anesthetic to restore the decayed teeth.  The data will be analyzed to determine if an association exists between developmental enamel defects and the number of decayed primary teeth.

Project Ina: Holistic Improvement of Maternal Health on the Lake Traverse Reservation (Phase 2)

Project PI:  Nivedha Kannapadi
Permit Approval date:  5/10/17

This study seeks to understand if SWO pregnant women are able to use and benefit from the Project Ina mobile app, and, if so, how they benefit. To address this research question, the study is split into two parts: short-term co-design workshops and long-term (3 months) interaction with the mobile app. The co-design workshop, involving interactive generation of ideas for improving the app to best meet participants’ needs, will elucidate how the Project Ina app currently reflects the needs and desires of the Lake Traverse pregnancy community and how it can improve in doing so. During the long-term alpha test portion of the research study, data will be collected from a group of 20 pregnant women on the reservation over a period of three months that they engage with the Project Ina app. Data collected will help the research team to understand how, specifically, the mobile app is beneficial to SWO pregnant women and ways that it can be improved.

Examining Matriculation, Transfer, and Capabilities of Tribal College Students in the form of Educational Opportunities

Project PI:  Francis Arpan, MA

Permit Approval date:  6/19/17

The project will examine matriculation, transfer, persistence, and capabilities of Native American students in the form of educational opportunities. The research will also examine how students’ decisions in higher education are affected by barriers, motivating factors, and the educational opportunities available to them. The approach is concerned with social justice and working to increase individual and community capabilities and the proposed research, when finished, can be applied by Sisseton Wahpeton College as they work to increase student success and capabilities in the community. Within the framework of the proposed research project is a student research component that is designed to present SWC student researchers with the opportunity to gain knowledge in methods, analysis, and reporting.

Impacts of Commercial Tobacco Marketing on American Indian Reservations – Tribal Retail Environment (TREE) Study

Project Co-PIs:  Kristine Rhodes, MPH & Rachel Widome, PhD

Permit Approval date:  6/19/17

The prevalence of commercial tobacco use among American Indian (AI) adults in the Upper Midwest has been estimated to be 60%; compared to the general population’s smoking rate of 18%. It is known that greater exposure to tobacco advertising, promotion, and certain retail practices increase the likelihood that adolescents start smoking, encourage continued smoking and lead to relapse among quitters. The goal of this project is to learn more about attitudes towards marketing and retail practices related to commercial tobacco via key informant interviews with up to 6 community members (at least one tribal leader, one person working in tobacco control, and one person who sell commercial tobacco).

Documenting Dakota: Informal Ways with Words in the Santee-Sisseton Dialect Spoken at Lake Traverse Reservation

Project PI:  Josh (Richard) Wayt, MA

Permit Approval date:  6/19/17

This project creates audio-visual records of fluent elders using the Santee-Sisseton dialect of Dakota spoken at Lake Traverse Reservation.  Focusing on informal genres of speech, this work investigates the form and function of linguistic patterns that are prevalent in (and perhaps unique to) playful or humorous speech, e.g. entertaining guests, telling jokes, teasing relatives.  This research thus addresses a serious gap in existing studies, which have focused on compiling dictionaries, describing grammatical structures, and producing textual records of very formal genres of speech, e.g. sacred narratives.  However, there is little documentation of more informal ways of speaking Dakota.  This absence is increasingly significant for individuals, organizations, and institutions involved in language revitalization efforts, because language curriculum and pedagogy center on informal ways of speaking.  In this regard, another purpose underlying this research is to support revitalization initiatives by providing documentary data that may subsequently be used in developing curricular materials or pedagogical activities.

Empowering Native Youth through Trauma-Informed Practices

Project PI:  Michael Gerard Mason, PhD, LPC

Permit Approval date:  7/17/17

Historical trauma is defined as “unresolved trauma that results in grief that continues to affect the lives of survivors and subsequent generations.” According to the Indian Country Child Trauma Center of the NIH, cumulative collective trauma among Native Americans is linked to child abuse and neglect, domestic and family violence, substance abuse, incarceration, suicide and accidental death (2007). There are few local resources to address this challenge. The Department of Health and Human Services notes that “staffing issues and shortages of highly skilled providers limits American Indian/Native American access to mental health services at IHS and tribal facilities.” (2011)

This is a mixed methods study focused on:
1.   i)  collecting cross-sectional quantitative/qualitative data from youth supporters about critical issues they and the youth they serve are facing, coping strategies that both groups employ,and the individuals they turn to help them cope and

2.   ii) using findings to develop trauma-informed workshops and to assess how the SWO Native community can better leverage cultural practices to respond to and prevent stressors.

Ignite:  Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Model in preventing overweight and obesity among 6th – 8th grade youth in low-income racial/ethnic communities

Project PI:  Kendra Kattelmann, PhD, RD, LN, FAND

Permit Approval date:  11/02/17

This project proposes to use a quasi-experimental design to determine the effectiveness of the CBPR Model to assist communities in identifying behavioral and environmental factors that influence overweight and obesity in 6th-8th grade youth in selected communities; and engaging selected communities to implement effective and sustainable strategies to increase dietary intakes of fruits and vegetables; increase the variety of vegetables in the diet; decrease dietary intakes of foods high in solid fats and added sugars; and increase physical activity among 6th-8th grade youth. One intervention and one control community were selected in South Dakota to participate in this project. An assessment tool was developed to help give a clear picture of the barriers to healthy eating and physical activity among 6th-8th grade youth.

Sleep disordered breathing among American Indian adults”

Project PI:  Leah Irish, Ph.D.

Permit Approval date:  5/07/18

The purpose of this project is to measure reductions or cessations of breathing during nighttime sleep, which can be a sign of sleep disordered breathing. Ten adults between the ages of 35-65 will be recruited to wear an in-home sleep monitoring device for one night. This data will help us understand how in-home sleep monitoring may be used most effectively in future studies.

North Dakota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)”

Project PI:  Grace Njau, MPH

Permit Approval date:  5/07/18

ND PRAMS is an ongoing, population-based surveillance system designed to identify and monitor selected maternal experiences and behaviors that occur before and during pregnancy and during the child’s early infancy among a stratified sample of women delivering a live birth. It was initiated to help state health departments establish and maintain an epidemiologic surveillance system of selected maternal behaviors and experiences.

“Revitalizing the Dakota Language and Reproducing Cultural Values at Lake Traverse Reservation, S.D.”

Project PI:  Josh (Richard) Wayt, MA

Permit Approval date:  5/31/18

This research project investigates how cultural values shape language revitalization efforts, and how those efforts address broader social concerns that animate the SWO. Specifically, the researcher hopes to examine how, when teaching the Dakota language, fluent elders and their semi-fluent apprentices simultaneously transmit broader cultural values and principles for appropriately conducting relationships. The researcher plans to collect and analyze three lines of evidence: (1) Fluent elders’ instructional discourse at Sisseton-Wahpeton College’s (SWC) tri-weekly “elder sessions;” (2) Life-history interviews conducted with fluent elders involved in SWC’s program; and (3) Semi-structured interviews on curriculum design with SWC’s language learners. The project proposed here will result in the transcription, translation, and further annotation of audio data on fluent Dakota speech (1 and 2 above). This dissertation research will thus contribute to and support ongoing efforts to revitalize Dakota Language at SWC.

Great Plains Area Good Health & Wellness Qualitative Study (Partnership)

Project PI:  PJ Beaudry, MPH

Permit Approval date:  5/31/18

As part of the larger regional evaluation and documentation of impacts of the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country initiative, the Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center (GPTEC) has been asked to conduct a qualitative study to add breadth and depth to the data being collected/compiled for these purposes. Given the importance of partnerships to the project in driving the policy, systems, and environmental changes that are foundational to it, GPTEC has decided to focus on the question: “what are the impacts of the various partnerships formed as a result of GHWIC programming?” As such, GPTEC plans to inquire about the nature of partnerships formed, how these partnerships have proceeded, and what the perceived impacts have been. We hope that in contributing to a broader understanding of the impacts of the initiative and illuminating best practices, this study will support the excellence and sustainability of this programming in the future.

Tribal Public Health Assessment

Project PI:  PJ Beaudry, MPH

Permit Approval date:  7/30/18

Primary in pursuing our initiatives is the undertaking of an assessment of tribal public health workforce, infrastructure, and systems, as well as priorities, needs, and other details. The general purpose of this assessment is to guide the formation of a comprehensive tribal public health training program and other initiatives the GPTEC plans to develop and undertake, and to provide baseline data for us and our tribal partners to track progress on our collaborative work in this area. Ultimately, we expect that this information will prove valuable for the development of GPTEC and tribal public health activities that will contribute to the understanding and reduction of health risk behaviors and disparities in order to contribute to their mitigation through informed programs and services in the future.

Preliminary study on the socio-economic factors affecting microbiome, nutrition, and health outcomes in American Indian population

Project PI:  Joy Scaria, Ph.D.

Permit Approval date:  4/24/17

Disparities of health exist among the members of Native American populations.  We hypothesize that health gradients are present among the members of the American Indian community in South Dakota and it is likely impacted by socio-economic status and dietary habits.  Recent research on human gut microbiome reveals that the microbial diversity in the gut has profound effect on health.  Our overall goal in this study is to analyze the relationship between socio-economic status and dietary habits and to determine whether this has an impact on digestive health measured using microbiome diversity in fecal samples.  Data for the research will be collected through survey instruments and fecal sample collection.  Findings from our research will influence the policy discourse on topics related to the economic and social well-being of the American Indian population.

“Effectiveness of Pregnancy Health Research Dissemination”

Project PI:  DenYelle Kenyon, Ph.D.

Permit Approval date:  4/05/19

This study will evaluate previous work done through a partnership between Sanford Research and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) health education team. In 2015, SWO conducted a Pregnancy Health Survey and, recently, Sanford Research staff have been working with SWO to disseminate key findings to the SWO community through infographics. This study will evaluate these infographics and determine if the approach taken was effective in informing and educating the community. To do this, members of the SWO First 1000 Days Initiative Interagency Forum will be sent an online survey to explore their thoughts and use of the infographics in their work to educate women and men of childbearing potential. Additionally, two focus groups will be conducted with SWO community members to gain feedback on the infographics. The SWO health education team will assist with data interpretation once the analysis is complete and work with the research team to disseminate the findings through reports and infographics. The findings from this study will help inform SWO programs on effective ways to communicate with SWO community members. Additionally, the results may be used to inform future researchers on appropriate dissemination methods.

“Wiyukcan ka Ecunpi Social Media Research Project”

Project PI:  Heather Flute, M.A.

Permit Approval date:  4/05/19The purpose of this research project is to study what effect social media has as a support tool for mentoring youth on the Lake Traverse Reservation. This research targets at risk youth in hopes of spreading awareness of suicide prevention. The youth will partake in Facebook posts directed at the youth who are part of the study. Texting, messaging and Facebook posts will be implemented as a form of mentoring at risk youth. The mentors involved in this study will undergo mandatory reporting training and will be instructed to follow a developed protocol on how to help at risk youth while providing mentorship and available resources for those who may need additional support outside of our area of research. This research will break down the participants into three specific categories: 5th – 6th grade, 7th – 8th grade, and 9th – 12th grades.