Community organization has been an important part of applied anthropology for much of its history. Recently, fields such as health education and public health have made contributions to this area of knowledge. This paper reports on a participatory action research (PAR) project using principles from various fields as they apply to the early detection of cervical cancer through Pap smears. The project was carried out with the Yakama Indian Nation through a partnership between university researchers and practitioners and tribal members and officials. Working with a community board, the investigators conducted collaborative research to design programs to increase both women's use of Pap smears and the tribe's capacity to manage future projects. Through open-ended interviews with Native American women we learned their primary interests are in family, community, and spirituality, rather than cancer. For that reason, programs were designed to meet these broader needs. Successes in a variety of projects support our belief that PAR is a valuable design for community capacity-building research.

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