The High Plains American Indian Research Institute (HPAIRI) aims to promote positive and productive relationships between the University of Wyoming and regional American Indian communities. Assisting with research, education, and service, the HPAIRI intends to facilitate tribal access to University resources and, at the same time, to help UW researchers connect with tribal communities in a coordinated fashion. The HPAIRI will facilitate collaborative research among tribal communities, UW and visiting faculty, and UW undergraduate and graduate students. Its research agenda will be based on the needs and interests of Native communities in the region and those communities will be full partners in research endeavors. Additionally, the HPAIRI is working toward establishing a collection of informational materials that may assist both tribal and UW researchers with their projects.
In 2011, a survey was submitted to University of Wyoming faculty and staff to learn about research and educational activities between UW participants and tribal partners. The results indicate that a variety of UW units do have relationships with tribal communities in the region and a significant number of those relationships involve science, technology, engineering, and/or math (STEM) activities. The survey results will assist with the continued development of the HPAIRI and with the implementation of its activities.