CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico To Host California Indian Fair for Partnerships in Research

Date: 09-29-2008

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Don Hankins
Geography and Planning

On November 1–2, California State University, Chico will host a research fair focused on collaborative projects in the arena of sustainable management of natural resources. The research fair is the result of cooperation between many California Native American community members, agencies, faculty, students and nonprofit organizations throughout California.

The organizers of the fair state on the California Indian Fair for Research Partnerships Web site state that research in Native communities often does not benefit tribes. “The Research Fair is focused on changing this so that tribes decide what topics are researched and have equal partnership with professional researchers. The goal is to make the resources of universities accessible and available to communities. This event will be a place to talk about natural resource issues and partnership with universities, agencies and nonprofit groups.”

Don Hankins, Geography and Planning, CSU, Chico is one of the organizers of the fair. He said that the organizers hope that the fair will help bridge the gap between the academy and communities by creating a forum in which both groups can work together on identifying research topics of mutual interest. It will consist of workshops on participatory research, creating common ground among participants and understanding the needs and interests of communities.

The research fair will consist of four components: an opening session, a common language workshop, a session on participatory research and the research fair itself.

The common language workshop is designed to foster an atmosphere of clear, open and respectful communication. The plenary session on participatory research will familiarize fair participants with the basic principles of participatory research.

The research fair itself will be the mechanism for generating ideas for possible research projects as well as for teaming tribal communities together with academics, agency officials or nonprofit organization staff for developing and carrying out research projects.

To obtain more information or to register for the fair go to the Web at http://nature.berkeley.edu/researchfair/contact.htm or e-mail cffelow@nature.berkeley.edu. Scholarships are available for students and tribal members.