The Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies has been engaged in a number of social work and public health research projects in American Indian communities. Our intent is to use research to inform federal, state, and tribal policy makers and foster partnerships between national centers that share our focus on American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) research.
The SAGE program is meant to provide Native and non-Native students with financial and academic support to ensure they become culturally respectful social workers in Indian Country.
In 2013, the Buder Center initiated survey research and in-depth interviews with Buder alumni of the Brown School’s Social Work program to evaluate the Center’s programs and services and improve effectiveness. The study examines the effectiveness of recruitment and retention practices for AI/AN students, the usefulness of student supports provided by the Center, and the role of students’ connections to Native communities and their own AI/AN identity. A report summarizing the study’s findings and implications is forthcoming.
Buder Scholars and Buder Center staff collaborate with other students, faculty, and staff at Washington University, community members, and tribal entities to gain a better understanding of past and present ways of living. Originally created in 2013 to reclaim Native health through traditional food and culture, this annual project now incorporates Native Chefs, global Indigenous health, nutritional considerations and other important topics related to ancestral food.
The Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD) and the Buder Center collaborate to offer preventative education and mammogram screenings. This is done at the annual Washington University in St. Louis Pow Wow, as well as other events for Natives in St. Louis.
Buder Center faculty, staff, and students continue to develop a body of work on AI/AN, in the field of social work. Current topics include leadership development, student retention, student recruitment, alumni development, university-tribal relationships, faculty recruitment, and mental health.
In collaboration with the Buder Center, Buder Scholars developed a document to assist other Buder Scholars in locating AI/AN mentors and practicum sites in Native communities. As part of their research, the authors used geographic information systems (GIS) to develop a spatial map of Buder alumni and Native-specific practicum sites. This is continually updated.