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Empowering Din é Youth and Reducing Alcohol Abuse Through Hozho and K’e. BY: DENYSE HERDER. GRANT OPPORTUNITY: PAR-11-346 Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Native American Populations (RO1). Research Project Grant Community Based Research

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GRANT OPPORTUNITY: PAR-11-346Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Native American Populations (RO1)
  • Research Project Grant
    • Community Based Research
    • Up to 5 years (Award Period)
  • From National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA)
  • NIAAA Interests

Reduction of high risk drinking, alcohol misuse, promotion of moderate drinking, youth refrainment from drinking at early age, prevention of alcohol use among pregnant women

  • Target Population: Native Americans
    • Alaska Native, American Indian, & Native Hawaiian
grant opportunity cont
  • Eligible Organizations
    • Higher Education Institutions
    • Nonprofits
    • For-profit organizations
    • Governments
      • Tribal and non-tribal
    • Other: Native American Tribal Organizations, faith-based community organizations, independent school districts, public/Native American housing authorities

Maryellen Connell Grants Management Branch National Institute on Drug Abuse 6001 Executive Blvd. Bethesda, MD  20892-9560 Telephone: (301) 774.-3803 Email: [email protected]

grant purpose
  • Health Promotion and disease prevention among Native American populations as a result of health disparities such as Chronic disease, substance abuse, mental illness, and HIV-infection prevalent within Native communities
  • To create, develop, and test culturally appropriate intervention program that will enhance Native American communities through promotion of healthy behaviors, healthy lifestyles.
  • Intervention Program should be developed in such a way that community resources will be able to sustain the program with the probability of promoting a similar program in other Native communities
  • Long-term goal:

Reduce morbidity & mortality in Native American communities!

indigenous values
Indigenous Values

There is potential in the cultures of indigenous peoples to heal their communities. Our youth are the future, they are leaders in the making. Within Native culture exists protective factors for youth against risky behaviors.






Children are sacred,

they are the future

intervention program
Intervention Program:
  • Target Population
    • Navajo Reservation: Leupp, AZ Community
    • Navajo Youth grades K-12
  • Organization applying for funding:
    • Navajo Nation Office of Youth Development sub office- Leupp Youth Center
    • As the only youth organization in the Leupp area, we strive to meet the recreational, social, cultural, and academic needs of our Dine youth, providing service to more than 50 youth, K-12th grade, and their families per week. Our facility provides a computer room, weight room, reading room, a summer activity program, tutoring, and an after school program.
    • Although Leupp center provides programs it lacks a culturally appropriate alcohol prevention program for youth.
    • Leupp Youth Center Goals
      • Youth Resiliency, Wellness, & Leadership
intervention program a need exists
Intervention Program: A Need Exists
  • Leupp is a bordertown to Winslow & Flagstaff AZ
  • Incidents related to alcohol in Leupp Area
    • Fatal Car Crashes
    • DUI
    • Student Intoxication at school
    • Domestic/Family Violence
    • Child Abuse
  • Early onset of alcohol use among youth & impact of misuse
    • “Most of the pre-teen boys to 18 years of age are the ones that I have seen with substance abuse and alcohol problems, they party on weekends with friends and even their own families……They get to the point of not doing well in school... Most of my boys are coming from alcoholic families…the abuse and neglect that parents do to their kids is the reason why the boys say they do what they do…It comes down to dropping out of school and not having the desire to accomplish anything(Kristopher Herder, Residential Aid at Leupp Schools Inc. Dormitory, 2013).”
intervention program empowering dine youth and reducing alcohol abuse through hozho and k
Intervention Program:Empowering Dine Youth and Reducing Alcohol Abuse Through Hozho and K’é


  • K’é
    • Family & Clan Relationships
    • “K’é is essential to a person’s inner peace and is what a person is to strive toward on a daily basis….K’é involves the balancing of kindness and empathy on one hand and Navajo teaching on the other” (Parsons-Yazzie)
    • Helps strengthen family bonds-Promoting peace, respect, sense of responsibility
    • Helps Build Community-fosters unity, sense of belonging to family & social group

How is K’é applicable to enhancing community health?

  • Hozho
    • Beauty, Balance, Harmony
    • Blessingway Ceremony based on Hozho
    • Encompasses the good things in life

How does alcohol cause barriers to living one’s life in balance & beauty?

program details
Program Details
  • Total Cost for Entire Project: $160,000 for 1 year
    • Total Direct Costs: $100,000
    • Total Indirect costs: $60,000
  • Collaboration with the following stakeholders
    • Local schools
    • Navajo Nation Law Enforcement
    • Navajo Nation Dept. of Behavioral Health
    • Navajo Nation Youth Council
    • Leupp Social Services
    • Local Community Members & Leupp Chapter House
  • Curriculum
    • 10 Classes

Emphasize alcohol education, community support of youth, importance of community, awareness of negative implications of alcohol misuse & Navajo cultural components to make material relevant to Navajo community wellness

  • Potential Barriers
    • Level of commitment and involvement of community
    • Opposition of a program that incorporates Diné culture
    • Interpretation of Diné concepts
intervention program outcomes
Intervention Program: Outcomes

Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, Contribution- Positive Youth Development

Cultural participation by youth

Strengthening of family bonds & communication

Collaboration with community knowledge holders

Enhancement of Leupp community health

Thank You!


Begay, S. (2003, Feb 27). Target: Drunk Drivers; Crownpoint opens MADD Chapter in Battle

Against Drunk Driving. Navajo Times. Retrieved from http://libproxy.nau.edu/docview/225308527?accountid=12706

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Children & Youth, 21(3), 9-13.

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Message posted to https://www.facebook.com/groups/212688352243152/

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Kristopher Herder, interviewed by Denyse Herder, December 9, 2013.

Long, W., Downs, A., Gillette, B., Kills in Sight, L. L., & Konen, E. (2006). Assessing

Cultural Life Skills of American Indian Youth. Child & Youth Care Forum,

35(4), 289-304. doi:10.1007/s10566-006-9017-8

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Factor Against Drug Abuse Among Native American Urban Adolescents. Journal Of

Social Work Practice In The Addictions, 3(2), 25-41. doi:10.1300J160v03n02_03

Parsons-Yazzie, E. (2007). Dine Bina’nitin Navajo Teachings Dine BizaadBinahoo’aah

Rediscovering the Navajo Language: An Introduction to the Navajo Language. Flagstaff, AZ: Salina Bookshelf.

Ross, G. (2013, Oct 9). Using Tradition to Teach our Kids Purpose: Mentorship Matters, Part

II. Indian Country Today. Retrieved from http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/10/09/using-tradition-teach-our-kids-purpose-mentorship-matters-part-ii-151678

SAMHSA. (2013, Aug 26) (NACE) “Critical Dialoge with Native Youth about

Underage Drinking: Our Culture is Prevention”. Retrieved from


Yellow, L.R. (2012, Feb 12). We have Issues in Tuba City. Navajo Times. Retrieved from


Images courtesy of Google Images & Denyse Herder photos