Santa Fe Indian School



Conducting Research at SFIS

The Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS) is a tribally operated school, owned by the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico, which are sovereign tribal nations. As the school is not only trust land, but also characterizes the significance of Native community, the 19 Governors consistently refer to the school as the “20th Pueblo.”

Therefore, SFIS, representing the sovereign interests of the Pueblos is committed to protecting the interests of our tribal communities and our school, including our students, faculty, administrators and other stakeholders as research participants. SFIS is also committed to responsible, ethical and Indigenous-centered research design that will ultimately benefit our tribal communities and the school.

All research conducted at SFIS is subject to review and approval by a school and tribally-established Research Review and must be in accordance with all guidelines set forth by SFIS and the 19 Pueblo Governors as well as federally established guidelines for researchers via Human Subjects Review. 


Research conducted at SFIS must be in compliance with the SFIS Mission, as well as aim to further this mission:

Santa Fe Indian School utilizes our rich cultural heritage to enhance the knowledge and skills of each student.  We shape and nurture future leaders to meet the challenges of tomorrow.  Our students are here to embrace the rigorous educational experiences, their Native cultures, and our high expectations to provide a positive impact on our communities.  Our students graduate as young adults who are responsible, productive members of their tribal nations and the global community.

See also the Core Principles outlined in the Belmont Report for responsible research involving participants:

  • Respect for Persons: include acknowledge autonomy and the requirement to protect those with diminished autonomy though informed consent.
  • Beneficence: Minimization of risks to subjects
  • Justice: Equitable selection of subjects and distribution of benefits

Researcher Requirements

Researchers must ensure that research will be conducted responsibly, ethically and adhering to Indigenous-centered priorities and appropriate conduct. In order to request permission to conduct research at SFIS, the researcher is strongly encouraged to consult initially with SFIS Administration, including the Director of Planning and Evaluation and the Superintendent prior to submitting an application. A full application must provide the following in order to be considered,

  1. Application for New Study, including:
    • Abstract
    • Purpose of the research
    • Description of the sample population and their involvement in the study, including any requests that will be made of the population, criteria for excluding subjects, procedure for recruiting participants, deception
    • Methodology of analysis and process of review
    • Confidentiality procedures
    • Description of research risks and benefits that specifically addresses the risks associated with the study and clearly outlines the benefits of the study to SFIS
    • Informed consent procedures including how the researcher will obtain informed consent, locations of research
  2. All Informed Consent documents, including Description of the Research to be provided to all participants and Participant’s Rights
  3. All instruments proposed for use, including quantitative and/or qualitative instruments
  4. If the study is funded through another party (i.e. university, federal grant, private foundation, etc), a copy of the original research proposal must be included
  5. Evidence of Human Subjects Certification for all researchers involved
  6. Name of primary contact at SFIS

SFIS Research Review Committee

All proposals will be reviewed by the SFIS Research Review Committee and may require additional information as needed by researchers submitting a proposal. Reviews will be conducted by the Committee on an as needed basis, and their primary concern will focus on the following,

  • Does the research proposed comply with the SFIS requirements?
  • Is the risk to participants minimized?
  • Are the benefits proposed aligned with SFIS and Indigenous-centered priorities?