Success Stories

NARCH Success Story #1
(Student Development)

Increasing numbers of Native American students are poised for academic success. Since 2009, the Southwest Tribal NARCH Student Development program has funded 31 Native students attending 17 different universities.  At the end of 2014, advanced degrees were awarded to 12 Southwest Tribal NARCH scholarship recipients attending nine universities throughout the country.

NARCH Success Story #2 (Public Health Research)

The Tribal Solutions for Youth Affected by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) pilot research project breaks new ground by partnering with tribal communities to identify sources of strength and resiliency to address the impact of ACE.

HIV/AIDS/STD Prevention Program Success Story

The Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board, Inc. STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention program has hosted The Circle of Harmony which is a unique event. It is the only conference of its kind devoted to addressing HIV/AIDS prevention and substance abuse prevention from a distinctly Native American perspective.

The use of storytelling; the Talking Circle; and the presentations or prevention/treatment/service tools, techniques, and/or approaches that are specific to tribal communities are not found in any other conferences of this type.

Circle of Harmony features a Talking Circle that provides a safe and nurturing space for everyone to share their experiences, thoughts, and feelings about the many challenges we face in these times of HIV/AIDS. The principle of confidentially is adhered to in reference to what is disclosed during the talking circle.

Support and care is given to all who attend. Every participant has an opportunity to speak from their heart without interruption or judgment. Native Americans have come to trust and accept the tenants of this conference because of the culturally appropriate way topics are presented at the conference.

Since its inception in 1999, the Circle of Harmony (COH) has sought to fill gaps in knowledge about HIV infection. Experts familiar with HIV infection, risk factors associated with infection, and Native communities have been recruited to present at the conference. Health care workers, substance abuse counselors, Community Health Representatives, educators, and others who work directly with Native Americans were invited and encouraged to attend the conference. Tribal leaders were also encouraged to attend to learn about factors that put their own community members at risk of HIV infection.

Finding Balance and Kinship in ToP Methods: An Interview with Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board

Andrew Clayton, Communications and Development Coordinator, Institute of Cultural Affairs, USA

Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board (AAIHB) is an Indian-owned and operated non-profit public health organization that offers diverse health promotion and prevention educations programs to tribal communities in New Mexico and the surrounding area. It was created in the 1970s and incorporated under the 1980s by a consortium of seven tribes. Since its inception, HIV prevention has been AAIHB’s core program, which focuses on awareness and prevention through a holistic lens around social determinants of health such as disparities, acceptance, sexual orientation, gender identity, and violence against indigenous women. AAIHB also conducts an audiology program, houses a Tribal Epidemiology Center, and partners with numerous other organizations and coalitions, including the Southwest Indigenous Initiative (SWII). They organize Circle of Harmony, a biennial HIV/AIDS wellness conference. Through these programs, they serve 27 tribes across New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, and Utah, putting them in a position to “advocate for tribes in the Southwest area on a national level.”

Ayn Whyte became the Executive Director of AAIHB after serving as the HIV Prevention Program Director for the past decade. Savannah Gene took on the role of HIV Prevention Program Director when Ayn became Executive Director. Ayn, Savannah, and several of their colleagues attended the ToP Network Annual Gathering in Walnut Creek, CA in January 2020, where AAIHB was recognized as ToP Champion. They sat for an interview with Andrew Clayton of the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA).

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