Superfund Research Program
Community Engagement Core
The goal of the Outreach Core is to establish a collaborative project that includes the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) tribal agencies, tribal and university investigators, and tribal community members to better understand health risks associated with PAH exposure on the Reservation and to assist in human capacity building with tribal partners. Activities in the first six months of the project have focused on the first aim, which is to form an advisory committee that will provide overall guidance to the core's activities. The Advisory Committee now consists of eight members, and the first annual meeting will be held at the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute on the Reservation, in Pendleton, Oregon, on December 16-17, 2009.The core is planning a full day meeting on December 16 with the Advisory Committee and a half-day optional tour on December 17 for those who wish to see several Tribal smoke sheds and tour the Reservation for possible ambient air monitoring sites. Starting in July 2009, the Outreach Core team has met every other week in a conference call format with OSU personnel and CTUIR co-leaders to get the project up and running and to develop the agenda and draft materials to be shared at the December 2009 meeting. Earlier in the summer of 2009, Core leaders met with the Tribal Health Commission to brief them on project, and to recruit one of the Health Commission members to serve on the Advisory Committee. The agenda for the Advisory Committee includes discussion of activities that are taking place within the Outreach Core, and also includes research activities that are being conducted by the CTUIR and the Simonich project. Therefore, the Advisory Committee meeting will be well attended by other OSU researchers (Simonich, Anderson, Sudakin) who are working closely with the CTUIR and the Outreach Core. The first part of the meeting is open to the entire CTUIR community. The Advisory meeting will include the following topics for discussion: (1) grant overview and opportunities for participation by Tribal members; (2) design of data collection activities, including ambient air, personal air monitoring, urine sampling, food sampling, Tribal health data; (3) training of Tribal personnel involved in sampling and monitoring activities; (4) data sharing and ownership agreement; (5) human subjects IRB protocols, including recruitment of participants; and, (6) ongoing communication about the project within CTUIR.
Two separate announcements were distributed to invite the CTUIR community members to the open part of the meeting. A flyer was sent to the CTUIR co-investigators to post in various Tribal offices and public spaces. A story appeared on page 17 of the December issue of the Confederated Umatilla Journal, the monthly Tribal newspaper, describing the grant and inviting the community to the December meeting.
The core hired Laura Jensen, an MPH student and also Patricia Berger, a Research Associate (PhD, MPH) (both part time).
The core has not yet worked with the EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, but has plans to soon contact Kristine Carre, who is the Tribal Coordinator in the Portland, OR office in EPA Region 10.