Tribal Partners Spotlight

To increase prevention activities at the community level, USET partners with Tribal Nations to implement prevention activities for youth and young adults in the areas of cultural connectedness, sports, community engagement, extra-curricular, and behavioral health. Additionally, we assist in the creation and facilitation of various needs assessments to improve the behavioral health data quality in the IHS-Nashville Area.

These partners support healthy communities by creating and implementing substance abuse prevention activities. The activities promote mental, spiritual, and the physical well-being of each youth and young adult. Most activities have had a cultural element as it has been shown that being proud of one's culture is a protective factor when it comes to substance abuse. Learn about some of their recent activities and programs below.

  • Texas Say What! Summit: A conference that encourages youth to live a tobacco-free lifestyle.
  • Red Ribbon Fest: Youth are issued fatal vision googles and walk on a DIES (Danger In Every Step) Mat to simulate the dangers and hazards of walking for a person under the influence of alcohol.
  • Teen Talk: Teens gather in small groups and discuss what they know about alcohol and make connections by discussing shared life experiences.
  • 3-point shooting contest: Held each March, the youth participate in a basketball 3-point shooting contest
  • Alcohol Youth Survey: Youth participate in a survey to evaluate risk factors, perceptions of alcohol consumption and accessibility to alcohol.
  • Language Bingo: Youth and elders are paired up so that both generations can communicate and learn from each other

Catawba Indian Nation is working to build a mobile crisis unit to expand access to emergency mental health care that is available to their Tribal citizens. They are also working to raise awareness about and expand access to Narcan in the community. They have an interagency task force to coordinate efforts across the community to reduce drug and alcohol use among citizens.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation behavioral health department implements a number of activities for youth such as basketball camps, summer programs, and wellness trauma kits. This programming not only provides positive outlets for youth to engage with one another and learn about their culture but is coupled with behavioral health education. They have recreated a resource booklet, keeping our Community Safe, with an introduction of how substance abuse has affected their Tribal community.

The Mohegan Tribe is working to with their youth to help deliver the cultural prevention program. They currently have an Opioid Task Force, which includes Council members, Council elders, Tribal Youth Council, Yale Health providers, cultural knowledge keepers, pharmacist, tribal members, police department, fire department, behavioral health, and an elder healer.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is working to expand preventative services offered to their youth. They partner with the Boys and Girls Club to host an after-school group to discuss various mental health topics. They have developed a wellness book, providing education to parents on the dangers of difference substances and highlighting resources that exist in the community. They are currently entered into the long-awaited Alabama PDMP program.

A/CDP and Ronthahiiohsthà:ke – Clubhouse: The mission of Ronthahiiohsthà:ke is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for youth and young adults to develop prosocial skills and to promote long-term health, wellness, recovery and a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle. Activities include:

  • Tea and medicine workshop
  • Tota & Me Series—youth pair up with Elders to learn culture
  • Ribbon Skirt Workshop Turtle Shell Workshop
  • Cultural Enrichment Week—Held each February, Cultural Enrichment Week is a week full of cultural presentations, activities crafts and songs.
  • Iron Chef Program
  • Traditional Language Learning
  • Virtual Cultural Craft Classes
  • Healing of the Canoe Summer Program—Held each summer to provide a sense of belonging through cultural and community-based activities. The canoe is a metaphor, providing youth with the skills and tools needed to navigate their journey through life without being pulled off course by alcohol and drugs. Activities include:
    • Tubing in Titus Mountain
    • Cultural Crafts
    • Painting Corn husk dolls
    • Basket Making

As of May 2022, seven USET member Tribal Nations have completed Behavioral Health Needs Assessments.

USET’s Behavioral Health team has also conducted Provider Behavioral Health Readiness Survey, Youth and Adult Alcohol Survey, and Community Opioid Assessment.


Funding for these projects is provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.