This page contains various culturally relevant intervention strategies for helping American Indian people learn about
and cope with health issues that are both physical and behaviorally based.
Please visit these links to obtain information on how you can learn more to help our communities. Also, scroll down the
page to view more important info and links.
Since many of the problems that face Native American people are based on a lack of adeqate food, shelter and health care,
some brief info contained in links that might be helpful are included here on this page:
Native American Indian Housing Council
Rural Information Center: Native American Indian Resources
US Department of Housing and Urban
Development Native American Programs ...Publications, Native American Indian Housing Council; A Quite Crisis: Federal ...http://www.nal.usda.gov/ric/ruralres/nativeam.htm
House Passes New Affordable Housing
Fund Federally Recognized
Native American Housing
News The September/October issue of NAHN has a South Dakota flavor with: ... National American Indian Housing Council ...http://naihc.net/
Scroll down the page to see article on Guilt & Bitterness (below the Substance Abuse info)
Here is a link to the following information that communities can use to develop their own intervention strategies.
Much of the material that can be used is free.
There is much more than substance abuse help on the site that is in the link above. Traditional healing, cancer,
diabetes, depression, many more topics are there to find help with. Below is a sample of resources that are there
to use for community development.
Many non-professionals made up of peer groups can start some of these programs and gain assistance with getting
programs started. Concerned Indian people can get together and start some of these programs and get materials to help them.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has found that rates of illicit drug use are higher among
American Indians and Alaska Natives (9.9 percent) than other major racial/ethnic groups. Alcohol abuse is prevalent among
AI/AN youth and drinkers over 26 years old, and the use of tobacco among Indian youth has reached alarming rates. New initiatives
in recent years offer hope in reducing these trends through education and the integrated treatment of substance abuse with
mental health concerns.
Native American/Alaska Native Resources
- Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP): Substance Abuse Resource Guide – American Indians
and Native Alaskans
The site offers a bibliography of prevention materials, studies, articles, reports, organizations and Internet links to
serve as a reference for community leaders and professionals in the prevention, education, and health care fields.
- National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Tobacco Information and Prevention
Source – American Indians and Alaska Natives and Tobacco
One page of information on tobacco's health effects, tobacco use prevalence and other statistics and one-liners as they
relate to American Indians and Alaska Natives
- Healthy Nations Initiative
Based at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, the project helps Native Americans develop programs in their
communities to reduce the harm caused by all kinds of substance abuse, tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs. Descriptions of
funded community programs are on the site as well as a Resource Center page with links to substance abuse and other relevant
- Na'Nizhoozhi Center (NCI)
The Center, in Gallup, New Mexico, is an example of residential treatment for alcoholism based on traditional Native American
treatment in conjunction with Western therapies. For residents of New Mexico but the site has fine information and some good
Guilt & Bitterness - from www.cradleboard.org
Making Things Better
Helping Children to Deal with
Guilt and Bitterness
Guilt and Bitterness are two sides of the same coin. When Native American people begin to learn the painful
truth of how unjustly we have been treated, many of us go through a hell of Bitterness. When European Americans learn about
it, many people go through a hell of Guilt.
Some people will tell you to "Just throw that away, that guilt, that bitterness",
but you shouldn't: you should learn to use it.
Think of those ancient people out on the Plains. They're carrying bags.
They're bending over, picking things up off the prairie. What are they gathering? Food? No. Wood? No. They're collecting dried
buffalo chips. That's manure. But it's dried, and that's the key.
They take that dried manure that others throw
away, and they bring it back home, and then they do the magic that only Human Beings can do: they turn it into fuel; and they
Once you make fire, you can create light and warmth. It's like you extend the length of the day. You can
build a community around a fire; you can read a book beside a fire; you can dream and invent and write a book beside a fire.
Or you can cook up something brand new, and all because you were smart enough to convert that dried up manure into fuel to
make a fire.
Or you can take that dried manure - that Guilt, that Bitterness - and spread it on your garden as fertilizer
and grow something brand new. But you have to be patient enough to let Nature dry it out in order to convert it into something
- Don't try to use that Guilt or Bitterness while it's still fresh. Let it calm down, let your feelings settle,
let it dry out. Then you can handle it and turn it into fuel.
- Don't spread it on your face like makeup or wear it as your badge of identity: "I'm the bitterest person
in the world" or "I'm so guilty, I can't cope." You are much more than just some sad feelings and you can do wonderful things
in the world to make things better.
Use it like fuel and turn it into something good.
c. Buffy Sainte-Marie
Cradleboard Teaching Project
We're Still Here!
Tennessee Indians-Still Walking The Trail of Tears
500 years of Cultural Genocide