Editorial: Cultures collide in Havasupai lawsuit
"When a contract or formal agreement is made, the parties involved must live up to the terms or face legal consequences. It's a basic tenet of our civil justice system, so it should not come as a surprise to two Arizona universities.

A recent state court ruling involving a conflict between Native American tribal beliefs and science could mean Arizona State University and the University of Arizona could be facing lawsuits totaling $60 million over what may amount to a "contract" violation.

Arizona's Havasupai Tribe is upset about alleged misuse of blood given by more than 200 tribal members for research purposes, according to a Capitol Media Services report. Tribal members live in the Grand Canyon and have been isolated and therefore are an ideal group for study because of members' uniform genetic makeup.

Tribal members voluntarily gave their blood, according to their attorney, for research only into diabetes, a disease that Native Americans experience at a higher level than some other populations. However, the attorney claims, other studies were done with the blood by a researcher who has worked at ASU and UofA, including studies that undermine tribal beliefs in their origins."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Cultures collide in tribal dispute over research (The Yuma Sun 12/5)

Arizona Appeals Court Decision:
Havasupai Tribe v. Arizona Board of Regents (November 30, 2008)

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Higher Ed: In Havasupai suit, whose blood is it? (12/1)
Suit over Havasupai blood research dismissed (05/04)
Havasupai Tribe presses suit over misuse of blood (11/21)
Havasupai Tribe sees support for research lawsuit (11/01)
Lawsuit over Havasupai blood moved to state court (5/5)
Scientist not sorry for using tribal members' blood (03/24)
ASU refutes claims of misuse of tribal members' blood (03/18)
Havasupai Tribe files $50M suit over misuse of blood (3/16)
Havasupai tribal members sue over use of blood (3/1)