our work

As a Category II Treatment and Service Adaptation Center within the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, our focus is on increasing service providers' ability to respond to the trauma-related needs of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and youth in culturally appropriate ways.

Approximately 1 in 4 U.S. children will experience a significant traumatic event by the age of 16. Research suggests that Native American youth are at increased risk of trauma, depression, and PTSD as a result of grief and exposure to violence. When exposure to traumatic events occurs frequently, or when traumatic stress is left unaddressed, children may be susceptible to relationship problems, drug and alcohol abuse, violent behavior, suicide and depression, problems in school, and bullying and victimization.

We provide training in evidence-based and promising practices as well as technical assistance in trauma-informed systems change across all tribal child-serving systems, including schools, behavioral health providers, child welfare agencies, and juvenile justice systems. We also assist in the cultural adaptation of evidence-based and promising practices and develop products and practices intended for use in Native communities. 

our goals

  • Significantly increase and disseminate the number of culturally relevant, evidence-based interventions for use with AI/AN children (particularly interventions to be delivered in schools) and disseminate these interventions nationally, both on and off reservations and within the NCTSN.

  • Develop a network of trained, culturally competent educators, mental health providers, and law enforcement personnel able to meet the needs of AI/AN children who experience traumatic stress.

  • Increase the amount of research detailing the processes through which AI/AN children experience and cope with traumatic stress.

current projects

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Category II National Child Traumatic Stress Network grant to expand trauma-informed services for AI/AN children and youth nationally.

  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Tribal Youth Resource Center, a partnership with the Tribal Law and Policy Institute that provides trauma-informed training and technical assistance to all OJJDP tribal grantees.

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Garrett Lee Smith State and Tribal Suicide Prevention grant in partnership with a Northern Plains tribe.

  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Defending Childhood Initiative Tribal Training and Technical Assistance provider.

  • National Institute of Justice: Evaluation of a multi-tiered, trauma-informed schools project across the Bozeman, Montana, school district.

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Mental Health Awareness Training grant serving Missoula, Montana, and neighboring communities.

  • Training and technical assistance contracts with a variety of tribes, agencies, and other stakeholders.