What began at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions Native Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States has resulted in a whole month of recognition celebrating many rich and diverse cultures. National Native American Heritage Month is also an excellent time to educate the public about tribes and to raise the general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and currently, and the ways in which tribal members are working to conquer these challenges.
With the need for methamphetamine and suicide prevention programs being felt across Indian Country, the recent Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) IHS awards to three tribes/Clubs to address these needs was exciting news. The initiative promotes the use and development of evidence-based and practice-based models that represent culturally-appropriate prevention and treatment approaches to methamphetamine abuse and suicide prevention from a community-driven context.
Additionally, Sea Research Foundation recently awarded funds to expand its innovative STEM Mentoring program to 14 Native Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the country. The goal of the proposed project is to reduce high-risk behaviors and positively impact the social development and academic achievement of underserved and at-risk youth ages 6–9.