The mission of the independent organization American Indigenous Research Association is to promote, foster, and apply Indigenous Research Methodologies — methods based in the philosophies, knowledge systems, values and beliefs of Indigenous communities, as a whole as well as in regards to the particular Indigenous peoples and communities engaged in a particular program of research — to any and all research carried out on or with Indigenous peoples. The American Indigenous Research Association strives to promote community and individual development, self determination, and decolonization of Indigenous peoples
We educate the research community as well as the public about the need for research on or with Indigenous peoples to be carried out in a manner which is respectful and ethically sound from an Indigenous perspective. We promote initiatives and practices that provide a mechanism whereby Indigenous peoples can participate in and direct such research and the agendas that drive it.
AIRA members will provide leadership to both Indigenous and research communities by (1) providing a forum for discussion of Indigenous Research Methodologies, (2) encouraging publication of scholarly work on Indigenous Research Methodologies and their application, (3) collaborating with Indian tribes and tribal colleges to augment development of research proposals and to contextualize knowledge that has been generated by traditional Western research, (4) consulting with members of Institutional Research Boards (IRB) in institutions of higher learning, and other non-Indigenous researchers, to help them develop research agendas and protocols that use Indigenous Research Methodologies for all projects related to or carried out in conjunction with Indigenous peoples, and (5) educating students and scholars in the fields of Science and Humanities, including but not limited to the disciplines of anthropology, history, and ethno-psychology, about the validity and scope of Indigenous research methodologies and its vital importance to work in Indigenous communities such as Indian Reservations.