American Indian/Alaska Native Community
While American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities range in land size, population, land assets, and language; from reservations to rural setting; from territories to villages; and from traditional tribal lands to urban settings, they are unified by one prevention fact: solutions are within the community. Healing takes place in the community from effective community engagement, planning and input that is central to the success of prevention. Through this process a wellness-focused approach is included in social and self-determined protective factors.
Solutions generated by the community create contemporary treatments using traditional knowledge to prevent substance abuse from reaching its most destructive state. Cultural identity loss due to past policies is a challenge for today’s AI/AN rural and urban populations. The strength of a community relies on the individual, the traditional family, and the social constructs of the communities’ ability to heal. Awareness has cultivated targeted mental health and preventions strategies to build healthy coping skills when separated from family and culture. AI/AN communities are securing funding and strengthening linkages to make resources more accessible and producing culturally competent interventions for AI/AN families, youth, and elders.
The Native American Center for Excellence supports the field of prevention by providing information on community-based practices for strategic planning, program planning, resource and partnership development, and interventions related to youth involvement, parent skills-building, and community assessment for tribal leaders. By accessing work developed and demonstrated by their peers, practitioners can avoid having to reinvent the wheel and succeed through the fostering of traditional concepts as practiced by AI/AN communities today.
For more information on AI/AN community-based practices, please visit the Resource Library.