Indigenizing CBPR: evaluation of a community-based and participatory research process implementation of the Elluam Tungiinun (towards wellness) program in Alaska.
The process that community based participatory research (CBPR) implementation takes in indigenous community contexts has serious implications for health intervention outcomes and sustainability. An evaluation of the Elluam Tungiinun (Towards Wellness) Project aimed to explore the experience of a Yup'ik Alaska Native community engaged within a CBPR process and describe the effects of CBPR process implementation from an indigenous community member perspective. CBPR is acknowledged as an effective strategy for engaging American Indian and Alaska Native communities in research process, but we still know very little about the experience from a local, community member perspective. What are the perceived outcomes of participation in CBPR from a local, community member perspective? Qualitative methods were used to elicit community member perspectives of participation in a CBPR process engaged with one Yup'ik community in southwest Alaska. Results focus on community member perceptions of CBPR implementation, involvement in the process and partnership, ownership of the project with outcomes observed and perceived at the community, family and individual levels, and challenges. A discussion of findings demonstrates how ownership of the intervention arose from a translational and indigenizing process initiated by the community that was supported and enhanced through the implementation of CBPR. Community member perspectives of their participation in the research reveal important process points that stand to contribute meaningfully to implementation science for interventions developed by and for indigenous and other minority and culturally diverse peoples.