"One size fits all' interventions for American Indian communities should represent their values and traditions, finds a study by ADAI Research Scientist Sandra Radin, lead author of an article in the Journal of Ethnicity and Substance Abuse, co-authored with representatives of the partnering tribal communities as well as Lisa Rey Thomas and Dennis Donovan of ADAI.
Most interventions have been developed for non-Native individuals, Radin noted; even programs developed in one Native American community might not work for another with a different culture and history.
"American Indians have thousands of years of experience dealing with adversity and have customs and traditions that have helped them to survive,” Radin said. “There is a lot that they know about their communities and their communities’ needs that outside researchers don’t.”
Successful interventions, tribal members told the researchers, would incorporate tribal communities' strengths by recognizing those values and incorporating cultural practices into treatment and prevention, such as traditional ceremonies, healing rituals, and practices such as beading, weaving, and drumming, according to Radin.