Calricaraq: Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation’s Native Connection Program
Alaska’s Yukon Kuskokwim Delta region in Southwest Alaska is home to 58 Indigenous communities comprised of Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Athabaskan people. This Native Connections grant proposal will aim to serve youth up to age 24 who reside in these communities, approximately 10,000 in total, through a cadre of strategies and interventions center around Calricaraq, a holistic, culture-based and community-centered approach, to help our communities healing from past traumas and unresolved grief.
Calricaraq, translated “helping families heal”, is Calricaraq is a curriculum based on the traditional values and ways of the people in the Y-K Delta region of southwest Alaska, and involves the incorporation of the ancestral traditional values, practices and teachings into prevention and treatment programs to help Yukon Kuskokwim Yup'ik and Cup’ik people heal from mental health and/or substance abuse disorders.
Following our completion of the community system analysis and community readiness assessment, our program staff will focus on providing outreach to communities to build their knowledge of identifying youth at risk for suicide, establish protocols for responding to suicides and begin creating crisis response teams in their community so they have the ability to respond to BH crises. An Action Plan will also be developed to provide a guide for the strategies and activities to be completed during the five-year grant period. At the heart of our intervention will be the facilitation of Calricaraq Gatherings, 3-day events that teach participants how to get on the healthy road of life, and the Calricaraq Facilitator Trainings, also 3-days in length, that teach participants how to begin facilitating Calricaraq activities in their own communities to help their community members also get on the road to wellness and recovery.
Our measurable objectives include the 1) completion of the community systems analysis and the community readiness assessment, 2) creation of crisis response teams, 3) development of our action plan that we can use as a road map through the different phases of the Native Connections grant, and 4) the number of participants who complete the Calricaraq Gatherings and Facilitator Trainings. The more people we train, the better the chance for the Calricaraq curriculum and teachings to be disseminated to our many communities. It is anticipated that we will serve approximately 150 youth per year, and 800 in the five-year grant cycle. We have been told by many that their participation in a Calricaraq Gathering has been a life changing. This Native Connections Program will help many more of the youth in our communities change their life, and get on the road to wellness.