Active Projects


Active Projects

Mahina Project: International Indigenous Health Research Training Program

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  • Original funded period: December, 2013 – November, 2018
  • Lead Investigator: Karina L. Walters, PhD
  • The Mahina Project will provide an international, 12-week health research training opportunity in Aotearoa/New Zealand to qualified undergraduate, graduate, and medical students at the UW and University of Hawai’i (UH). Indigenous trainees will be prioritized, but individuals with socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and are partnering with or living in Indigenous communities or families are eligible to participate as well.

The Native Youth Enrichment Program Phase Two – NYEP 2

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  • Funding organization: Gates Foundation
  • Lead Investigator: Polly Olsen
  • Director, Polly Olsen, works to develop the Native Youth Enrichment Program. The program in the summer of 2014 focuses on the Lessons from Indigenous Foods and the Environment L.I.F.E. created in NYEP Phase 1 2012 More info on the program website

Indigenous Substance Abuse Medicines, and Addictions Research Training (ISMART) Program

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  • Original funded period: March, 2011 – November, 2018
  • Lead Investigators: Karina L. Walters, PhD & Tessa Evans-Campbell, PhD
  • Indigenous Substance Abuse Medicines, and Addictions Research Training (ISMART) Program, is a mentorship program that allows scholars of indigenous backgrounds to research in the areas of substance abuse, medicines and addictions within their indigenous communities.

The Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training (I-HART) program

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  • Lead Investigators: Karina L. Walters, PhD
  • The Indigenous HIV/AIDS and Mental Health Research Training (I-HART) institute is being developed to increase the number of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) health researchers to successfully garner major grants for tribal priority health issues. Housed at the University of Washington’s Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI), the I-HART program will target junior and mid-career AI/AN community/tribal based researchers and AI/AN university-based researchers to hone their competitive grant making skills for mental health and HIV/AIDS research grant acquisition. Working in partnership with tribes, the I-HART program will lay the groundwork for a strong network of highly-trained and grant productive Native scholars dedicated to research and analysis that is culturally and tribally grounded. This would contribute directly to the amelioration of mental health, trauma, and HIV-related health disparities among AI/AN.
  • More information on the Research Core website

The Growing Our Own Project – Growing Our Own

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  • Lead Investigator: Tessa Evans-Campbell, PhD
  • The overall goals of the Growing Our Own Faculty and Student Development Program are: To bridge pipeline efforts between the only accredited tribal college in the Pacific Northwest and local research-intensive universities to increase the number of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) in health science career tracks and build Community Based Participator Research capacity; 2) to provide navigation of health science and research career mentorship and professional development for AI/AN graduate students, post-graduate, staff, and faculty; 3) To reduce tribal mistrust of research by creating a bi-directional learning environment that promotes co-development of tribal and university partners to work together to reduce health disparities.
  • More information on the Research Core website

The University of Washington Native Research Group NRG

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  • IWRI houses the UW Native Research Group (NRG), a community of investigators who participate in research with Indigenous communities. NRG aims to share knowledge, expertise, and scholarship regarding work with indigenous communities, to promote collaboration and to increase Indigenous community research capacity. NRG also works within University systems to decrease research burden on tribal communities and to spark interdisciplinary collaborative research projects. NRG works for the protection of human subjects and the ethical conduct of research with tribal communities.
  • More information on the Research Core website


Past Projects


Past Projects

Building on Strengths in Indian Child Welfare Education – Child Welfare Education

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The Native Youth Enrichment Program – NYEP

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  • Lead Investigator: Polly Olsen
  • Director, Polly Olsen, works to develop the Native Youth Enrichment Program. Program website

The International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development (INIHKD) – INIHKD

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  • IWRI is led a collation of U.S.A. Indigenous partners to convene the International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development (INIHKD) 2010 biennium conference. INIHKD’s mission is to bring a cadre of international Indigenous representative together to create partnerships t5hat will explore the challenges involved in reducing health disparities that exist among Indigenous populations by creating forums that focus on workforce development, research, health services, and policy.