ISSUES, CONTEXTS, SARP: What specific set of issues are being considered for research? What social institutions are currently being negotiated? Can you discern an historical evolution of these contemporary set of issues? How is an indigenous-centric view applicable to these issues? Which indigenous and non-indigenous social institutions are being negotiated? Are non-negotiables involved?


DISCOURSE: How are these issues being articulated from an indigenous perspective, and from what perspectives? How does discourse influence the significance of these issues? What are the historical origins of these discourses?


SOURCES/DOCUMENTS: Which sources are embedded within these issues? What are the Levels of Historical Authoritativeness involved in these issues? How will you interrogate and utilize different sources?


THE STATE: Where “is” the issue? At what point of negotiation are these issues? What are the “contexts” of these issues? How does an indigenous epistemology, time, place, and sensibility play a part in these issues? Where does indigenous historicity exist?


STRATEGIES: What strategies are discernible in regard to these issues? Are there any specialized knowledge systems being employed in the negotiation of these issues? What are the long-term implications of these issues?


ENGAGEMENT: How are we to become aware of these issues? Why are these issues pertinent to the field of Native American Studies and History? How can you formulate all this into a research oriented, problem-posing question?


CRITICAL QUESTIONS: What are some critical and inherently important questions regarding the applied nature of research and its effort to support an indigenous-centered agenda? Are there any moral or ethical questions regarding this research topic?



At any point in time, we can become aware of the State of Native American cultural, tribal, and social institutions.



  1. What is the state of Native American health in 2009?
  2. What was the state of Native American cultural traditions for the _______ tribe in 1890?
  3. What was the state of tribal colleges in 1978?
  4. What is the current state of economic development for the ______ tribe?


What are cultural, tribal, and social institutions? In terms of social institutions, they are related, but sometimes not directly correlated, to the following:


Family                        Education            Law            Religion            Government            Arts


Health                        Economics            Military            Politics            Sciences


Each of these terms function independently but for the most part they operate in conjunction with several other social institutions.


  1. How do tribal clan relations influence indigenous land tenure systems?
  2. How has U.S. federal Indian Policy affected the current state of Native American education programs on federally recognized reservations?
  3. How can indigenous sensibilities be utilized in western research agendas?



  1. Can you discern how different social institutions work in conjunction with each other?
  2. How does the role of history play a role in answering these questions?
  3. How does the State of Native America become problematized by the history of colonialism?


NOTE: All of these social institutions operate within various local, regional, national and international contexts.