Background: A community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, particularly relevant when collecting data on sensitive topics, was employed to partner with reservation tribes to assess suicide risk among Native American (NA) youth.

Objectives: To share relationship-building strategies used by an NA research team to build a partnership for collecting data.

Methods: Our collective knowledge was used to cultivate a deeper understanding of the community, build trust, and partner to engage in a respectful tribally appropriate research process. This approach provided a solid foundation for our inquiry on risk and protective factors for youth suicide.

Lessons Learned: A culturally grounded approach recognizes the importance of (1) ethnic concordance, (2) cultural acceptance, (3) taking time to build trust, and (4) using CBPR principles.

Conclusions: Significant participation of Native researchers in sensitive topics research with tribal communities is a promising strategy for trust building and partnership development. Understanding tribal context is imperative.


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pp. 301-307
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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