Swinomish Indian Tribal Community: Developing an Informal Environmental Health Education Model - Evaluation
In 2015, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (SITC) received a two-year NSF-AISL Pathways Grant (#1516742) entitled “Developing an Informal Environmental Health Education Model in Tribal Communities,” designed to develop a process model and curriculum for community-based environmental health outreach, grounded in cultural values and practices. The project deliverables included a curriculum and guiding document, intended to inform and inspire other tribal communities wishing to create a culture-based environmental or public health curriculum.
SITC contracted the Lifelong Learning Group and Native Pathways to conduct formative and summative evaluation in support of their Community Based Environmental health (CBEH) framework. This cross-cultural evaluation team brings together best practices from both Indigenous and conventional evaluation in informal learning and museum settings, and utilized multiple cultural lenses to inform the evaluation plan, instrument design, data collection approaches, and analysis process, in a culturally responsive way.
Based on conversations with the project team and the intention of the grant, the evaluation team focused on answering the following questions: 1) To what extent and in what ways does the traditional foods framework engage public audiences and community members in learning around environmental health and community health?; 2) What are the key processes, components, and guiding principles that best support the development of a local-based, tribal-specific CBEH framework? 3) What are appropriate and valuable project outcomes from a community-based perspective? The current report includes results, key findings, conclusions and recommendations from the summative evaluation process.