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About Genetics Research: Stories

By Lynne T. Bemis, PhD and Linda Burhansstipanov, MSPH, DrPH (Cherokee Nation)

This paper explains concepts in genetics and genetics research. It is meant to be
a starting point for dialogue between AI/AN community members and research
scientists. It is a very simplified explanation of genetic information and a very simplified
explanation of cultural implications. A real life story that does not identify individuals or
their tribal nations introduces each genetic concept and issue. These issues include
tribal / family ancestry, basic genetic information, a genetic study that may benefit AI/AN
community members, a genetic study that betrayed tribal trust relationship with a
research institution, and experiences of AI/AN college student studying science and
genetics. We do not take a stance for or against genetics technologies and research;
rather provide information for tribal leaders and researchers to make their own informed
decisions.

About Genetics Research: Stories

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A Guide for American Indian/Alaska Native Communities

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