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.

Social Workers Advancing through Grounded Education (SAGE)

The SAGE program recruits, trains and financially supports Brown School Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health students who are interested in completing 360 hours of their practica in Indian Country.

Natives Count

The Buder Center launched a Native-focused census campaign providing helpful resources on how to complete the 2020 Census.

AI/AN in Social Work

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.

PECaD: Relationship-Centered Collaboration for Cancer Prevention For American Indian/Alaska Natives in Missouri and Illinois

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.

Hunt. Fish. Gather.

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.

AI/AN Social Work Student Retention

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.

Buder Alumni Study

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.

For a list of past Research Projects, please click  here.