OVERALL PROJECT ABSTRACT
Indigenous populations experience significant trauma-related health disparities, including addiction, post-
traumatic stress disorder, chronic diseases, infant mortality, and suicide. Many of these disparities are worse
for American Indians (AIs) in the Dakotas. AI communities also contend with historical and intergenerational
trauma from decades of traumatic losses and forced assimilation. Hence, we will establish the Indigenous
Trauma & Resilience Research Center at UND to address the health impact of unresolved trauma and the
protective factors of cultural connectedness and resilience. The Center will consist of three interrelated
research projects—each led by an early career investigator and assisted by senior scientist mentors.
1. Establish a nationally-recognized and acclaimed Indigenous Trauma & Resilience Research Center at
UND with a goal to improve AI health and well-being.
2. Provide support and mentoring to the Project Leaders to enable future success in obtaining R01 funding.
3. Establish Administrative, Community Engagement & Outreach, and Human Subjects Cores that will
support the Center and will provide services to strengthen research capacity to address Indigenous health.
Methods: Three research projects include: (1) Historical trauma and resilience as a biological state and its
association with the effects of the traditional Indigenous food chokeberry; (2) Impact of boarding school
attendance on perceived stress, allostatic load and resilience; and (3) Stress and health in American Indian
pregnancies. We will leverage existing assets at UND, including several Institutional Development Award
(IDeA) programs. Mentoring will be provided to support the project leaders through an Administrative Core
consisting of the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI), Internal and External Advisory Committees,
and a group of high-level scientific Project Mentors. Each project leader will use community-based,
participatory research principles and will complete the Tribal Community Engagement Training Module that
was developed by the PD/PI. A Community Engagement & Outreach Core will be led by Dr. Melanie
Nadeau of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians from ND. Cultural considerations for human subjects
research and collection of biological samples will be supported by a Human Subjects Core that will provide
technical assistance regarding research compliance and addressing cultural norms. Significant opportunities
exist for meta-scholarship in which COBRE stakeholders will publish best and promising practices to support
community-engaged human subjects research with Indigenous populations. The center will be sustainable and
competitive for numerous other grant programs, including Research Project Grants (R01) and related funding.