Abstract In 2006, American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) made up less than 1% of the science, engineering and health doctorates in the U.S. Early introduction of AI/AN students to research and continued opportunities are necessary to develop successful AI/AN researchers who can better serve their communities. This team was developed to form a cohort of American Indian students, staff and faculty interested in research and becoming researchers. Since implementation, the program grew from one student to over 20 AI students ranging from freshmen just entering college to doctoral students working to complete their dissertations. This article highlights the team growth, increasing structure, student needs and the faculty and staff involved. It further addresses the support and educational aspects of growing an ongoing, multidisciplinary research team committed to ethical research in Native communities. The team addresses substance use prevalence, the relationship of substance abuse to other mental health diagnoses, and treatment issues. The team includes weekly team meetings, a Blackboard site on the Internet that is populated with resources and focused on sharing materials and information, a weekly journal club discussion of research articles, and collaborative discussions on each project and the barriers and challenges that need to be addressed to move forward.
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