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Tribal Community Resources

Cover page of a guidebookResearch shows that American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children are over-represented in the child welfare system, and AI/AN individuals have higher rates of substance use disorders compared to other racial/ethnic groups. The current AI/AN generation’s experience of trauma and substance use disorders may be heightened by the intergenerational transmission of historical trauma, of cultural traumatic experiences, and by the cumulative effects of harmful policies. Thus, it is crucial for both child welfare and treatment agencies to be culturally responsive to the needs of AI/AN families. Treatment programs should recognize the impacts of historical trauma and contemporary issues, accept differences in expression of identity and cultural connectedness, incorporate a relational approach that acknowledges the family’s current context and its vision for its future, and include traditional healing and cultural practices defined by each family. On a policy level, federal, state, and local partnerships should build relationships with tribal communities, ensure tribal voices within collaborative efforts, recognize tribal sovereignty, support funding to tribal entities, build cultural responsiveness into programs, and support research and evaluation of tribal programs.

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