Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $500,000)
This solicitation will fund field-initiated studies to further our understanding regarding the experiences, strengths, and needs of tribal youth, their families, and communities and what works to reduce their risks for delinquency and victimization. This initiative is especially interested in applications to conduct evaluation studies that identify effective and promising delinquency prevention, intervention, and treatment programs for tribal youth including those that assist tribal youth in enhancing their own cultural knowledge and awareness.
This program is authorized by 42 U.S.C. §§ 5665-5667.
Poverty and historical trauma on reservations drive an exponentially escalating cycle of violence and substance abuse among Native American youth. The University of Montana proposes to conduct research directed at the following three specific questions. 1) Whether treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder reduces this violence? 2) Which variables account for widespread and longstanding, inter-generational trauma? 3) Which variables explain persistent problems of substance abuse and violence? The applicant will employ both qualitative and quantitative methods, guided by the established principles of Community Based Participatory Research. The applicant believes this approach assures practical results that are locally relevant, includes the community in making decisions, and respects local customs, traditions, values, and history.
The University of Montana will document the link between treatment of trauma and reducing violence and substance abuse to inform their ultimate goal of developing a working theory of why violence proliferates in Native communities. They will gather extensive data from Fort Peck Reservation in Montana from courts, tribal police, tribal leaders, schools, focus groups, and search conferences. The work will be done by an existing and functioning partnership among the University of Montana's Institute for Educational Research and Service, its National Native Children's Trauma Center and the Fort Peck Reservation, all collaborating in a program titled Field-Initiated Research and Evaluation (FIRE). CA/NCF