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Tribally-directed Research Partnership Program (TRPP)

Through CIHED, the Tribally-directed Research Partnership Program was created to facilitate meaningful research and project partnerships between the American Indian communities in the San Diego region and the researchers, departments, and programs at UCSD.

Throughout the U.S., a number of universities and medical centers have now established institutions that address health and medical disparities.  Unfortunately, very few also focus on educational disparities even though access to adequate health care and education opportunities go hand in hand.  San Diego County is the geographical home of eighteen Indian tribes, with additional tribal communities in southern Riverside County and across the Mexican border in Baja California that are historically related to those in San Diego. Some forty tribes are located within the larger Southern California region.  Many of these tribes have found their tribal members — particularly their youth — caught up in the combined effects of extreme poverty, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence, lack of job skills, and low levels of educational achievement. 

TRPP is the first formal program at UCSD directed at exposing researchers to the issues that local American Indian tribes are working to improve and overcome. The Tribal Research Partnership Program aims to connect tribal officials, program directors, and staff with the vast expertise of the UCSD scientific community in support of tribally-directed programs and projects through which tribes and tribal members can respond to the potent desire to bring their own ways of thinking and being to the approaches for addressing present-day issues.  Steeped in and informed by centuries of embodied knowledge, tribes and their members offer a kind of acumen that only they can bring to the table. The conversation between tribes and university will bring together the skills, strengths, and research methods needed to meet the needs of  tribal communities. 

TRPP goals include the following:

General Concerns

  • Respond to tribal efforts to identify, establish, and prioritize short- and long-term goals
  • Identify people in the UCSD research community who can help address specific questions, ideas, problems, or issues
  • Find partners for projects and funding

Specific Issues

  • Health disparities
  • Tribal youth programs
  • Tribal health delivery
  • Tribal educational programs
  • Tribal environmental programs
  • Tribal energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green buildings
  • Tribal language: Reversing loss of native languages, songs, and stories
  • Cultural revitalization: Establishing a conversation between past and present
  • Economic sovereignty: Reversing poverty on local reservations
  • Alcohol, drug, and tobacco prevention programs
  • New market and low income housing tax credit financing

To join the TRPP, please email CIHED Co-Director Ross Frank and provide the following information:

Name
Email address
Web site address (if applicable)
Areas of expertise