IRB About RMTIRB

"We must develop expert Indians instead of Indian experts."

Beverly Pigman, institutional review board officer, Navajo Nation

About RMTIRB

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Since March, 2010 TLC has rigorously pursued the development of the Rocky Mountain Tribal Institutional Review Board. In this time we have conducted extensive literature reviews, met with Tribal IRB experts, and established the framework for operations of the Rocky Mountain Tribal Institutional Review Board.

This is important to the future of Tribal Research and benefits to our communities because it establishes a formal protocol for research approval when two or more member Tribes are involved in research. Non-Tribal institutions historically have used Tribal populations and perceived deficits for their gain; the Rocky Mountain Tribal Institutional Review Board seeks to build on the strengths and resiliency of Tribal populations. We will do this by ensuring Tribes have the final say in the approval or rejection of research protocols. Additionally, the Rocky Mountain Tribal Institutional Review Board believes that research must be applied and funding for Tribes is equitable. Research protocols must identify a means in which “problems” found in research are solved.

Lastly, we know that many Tribes have established their own IRB and review of research protocols, the Rocky Mountain Tribal Institutional Review Board does not supersede any individual Tribal Institutional Review Boards and only activates when two or more member Tribes are involved in research OR the member Tribe designates the Rocky Mountain Tribal Institutional Review Board as their official Institutional Review Board of record.

Gordon Belcourt, Executive Director