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BIA EDUCATION RESEARCH BULLETIN, YEAR 1973

RESEARCH PRIORITIES

Eugene Leitka

It is difficult to identify a particular field or any aspect of any field that affects the Indian people that could be pointed out as a major research priority. It seems obvious though, that BIA research activities should be directed toward those projects showing most promise to benefit the Indian people. It should be a shift from a study that benefits an individual whose only motives are to acquire a degree or do a study that will be shelved never to be seen again. Research studies are needed that will utilize Indian manpower and possibly be conducted by Indians themselves or those that include maximum Indian involvement, other than being subjects of a study itself.

The overwhelming increase in the numbers of Indian youth entering institutions of higher learning has more than doubled the higher education budget (1971-72). It would seem logical for BIA to become more involved in research projects that would utilize Indian students as researchers,

The successes and failures of all experimental programs, research projects and on- going programs must be brought to light in publication for the Indian people and to the general public. The focus on getting research information to Indian people is important since informed people are usually less likely to suspect that irregularities are going on within a system. This approach to dissemination of information would also be an important aspect of a total information system and would be advantageous to the BIA for this reason, also.

The Research Branch should embark upon the task of identifying innovative programs that will achieve maximum benefit for the Indians and disseminate this information to all other branches of the BIA. Successful programs have been initiated and tested by the BIA and these need bureau-wide visibility. Leadership is needed in the assessment of management systems of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Alternative styles of management should be discussed and training sessions conducted to implement improved management of Indian programs.


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Last modified March 12, 2008