Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Michael A Harnar, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Stephen Magura, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Nicole Bowman, Ph.D.


Culturally responsive evaluation, decolonized evaluation, Indigenous research methods, Native Americans, relationality, seven grandfathers


This dissertation is a qualitative study that explores the importance of including cultural values in evaluation and whether this would lead to an increase in utilization of evaluation results. It was first wondered whether Native American values are included when evaluations are completed for Indigenous Tribes. A review of evaluations revealed that evaluations in the published literature are including general Native American values, although a document review alone was found to be insufficient as a method to capture the nuances related to value expression. It is suggested that more research is needed in the area of metaevaluation to include culturally specific methods of inquiry which could lead to the development of a general approach to cultural metaevaluation. Next, culturally appropriate qualitative methods were utilized to determine what values are of most importance to an Ojibwe Tribe in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A storytelling approach using Talking Circles (Brown & Di Lallo, 2020) and individual interviews were employed to gather information about values. It was found that the values of most significance to the tribal members who participated in the study are the same values that, through oral knowledge transmission, have been passed down over many generations and are referred to as the Seven Grandfather Teachings (Benton-Banai, 1988) of: Love, Honesty, Wisdom, Bravery, Humility, Respect, and Truth. Finally, tribal members were asked whether inclusion of their values in evaluations for their Tribe would be beneficial and would lead to greater use of evaluation results. Tribal members expressed a need for values to be included in evaluation, especially when values were written into the goals of a program. Members of the Tribe felt that values research is extremely important in that it will increase all peoples’ understanding about Native American people.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access