Michael Alvarez Shepard, PhD

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I am a Research Assoicate with the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies at Western Washington University. Additionally I work as a consultant for regional tribes and First Nations communities in the Pacific Northwest.

My research is focused building capacity for environmental and cultural sustainability, particularly for Native American populations. I practice applied Anthropological research, with Native communities in Washington, Alaska, British Columbia and California. I use several theoretical frameworks to anchor my research including:

  • Cultural resource management
  • Applied research
  • Environmental governance
  • Treaty rights, sovereignty and self-determination
  • Knowledge mobilization in the digital public sphere
  • User-centered design
  • Language ideology

My primary research interests include:

  • Intersections of cultural and environmental sustainability
  • Race, alterity and discrimination for Native Americans
  • Cultural resource management, archiving and dissemination
  • Memory institution technology design and functionality
  • Implications of digital cultural resource management for Indigenous populations
  • Technology and the Internet
  • Endangered language documentation, preservation and dissemination
  • Climate change

Some of the methodologies I use in my research include:

  • Participatory Action Research
  • Decolonizing and Indigenous research
  • Ethnography
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