NARA’s proposed project, the Youth Wellness Program, will provide tribal and culturally-based health and wellness activities and events for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth, young adults (age 10 to 24years) and their families to improve physical, mental health and overall wellbeing. Strategies/Interventions. NARA NW will draw upon Oregon Tribal Best Practices (OTBP) to implement the key strategies and activities. Strategy 1: Family and community activities that connect cultural teachings to health and wellness. NARA YWP will implement family-centered activities and events that teach, build upon, celebrate, and strengthen cultural and traditional practices and teachings. These activities will draw upon OTBP of Tribal Family activities, Traditional foods/healthy lifestyles events, Traditional games and Arts and crafts.This strategy will include collaborations with existing NARA programs (internal partners) focused on Diabetes,Cancer, and general health and wellness. Strategy 2: Seasonal cultural and traditional practices that support health and wellness. NARA YWP will implement seasonal and traditional cultural events, celebrations, traditional harvest or activities. These activities will draw upon OTBP Traditional Foods/healthy lifestyles, Tribal family activities, and powwow. Strategy 3: Social and cultural activities that promote community wellness. NARA NW will implement social and/or Tribal cultural activities incorporating opportunities to learn about traditional healthy food, physical activities, and lifestyle practices to enhance mental and emotional wellbeing. This strategy will draw upon OTBP focused on Equine/horse therapy.These events and activities will be based on three strategies:
• Family and community activities that connect cultural teachings to health and wellness;
• Seasonal cultural and traditional practices that support health and wellness;
• Social and cultural activities that promote community wellness and wellbeing.
It is anticipated that as the AI/AN youth, young adults and their families increase their participation and engagement in the proposed events and activities, their understanding of and engagement in mental health promotion, sobriety, cultural pride, and healthy lifestyle practices will increase and grow over time. And, from a population management perspective, this growth in healthy lifestyle choices will reduce morbidity and mortality from diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Population: Urban AI/AN youth and young adults (10-24 years of age) and any of their family members, who reside in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. Demographics and Clinical Characteristics: According to US Census 2013 estimates, the Portland metro area is home to over 5637 youth and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24; 44% are female. AI/AN children experience higher rates of violence in their homes than the national average. AI/AN children are physically abused, sexually abused, and neglected at a rate of 12.4 per 1,000 AI/AN children compared to the national rate of 9.2 per 1,000 children.