Gathering of Native Americans Builds Resiliency Among Native Youth in the Bay Area

Of the more than 5 million American Indian/Alaska Natives living in the US, 71 percent reside in urban communities—a majority that grew by 1 million people between 2000 and 2010.1 Urban Native Americans can feel disconnected from their heritage and have less access to cultural-specific resources as compared to their counterparts living on reservations.2 They may also lack the benefit of cultural beliefs and practices known to protect against the stressors that can lead to substance misuse in Native American populations.3

For native youth growing up in cities, feelings of isolation and lack of cultural identity can put them at greater risk for making unhealthy choices, including the use of alcohol and other drugs.

“Urban communities, especially those with gang activity, pose many challenges for Native youth,” says Janet King, Program Manager of Policy and Advocacy for the Oakland-based Native American Health Center (NAHC), a Partnerships for Success 2015 grant recipient. Low income, perceived racial discrimination, and feelings of depression and anger can put Native youth at greater risk of using drugs and alcohol, as well as engaging in gang activity.4

To address these risk factors, NAHC sought…(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE: CLICK HERE!!!)