Mission and Goals
The American Indian/Alaska Native Researchers and Scholars Work Group (AIANRSWG) is one part of the program to support a better understanding of how to address substance abuse among AI/AN populations. The AIANRSWG works in conjunction with NIDA and the community to identify research needed to better understand, prevent, and treat substance abuse and addiction in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations and to support the development of addiction research capacity in AI/AN communities. In 2009 the workgroup implemented the Native-to-Native mentoring program, a nation-wide mentoring program, which is designed to train and support the career development of AI/AN researchers interested in substance abuse and addictions research.
Major Highlights and Accomplishments
To date, the Native to Native mentoring program has successfully recruited 17 mentors who are interdisciplinary faculty members from across the nation, and 22 mentees (post-baccalaureate and graduate students, medical residents, post-doctoral fellows, and early career faculty) from across Indian Country.
The AI/AN workgroup held their annual Native to Native Mentoring meeting during the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) Annual Conference, August 9-14, 2011, Portland, Oregon. The meeting featured two mentorship specific events including a business meeting and day-long grant writing workshop in which selected mentees presented draft research proposals before the group for feedback. Additionally, mentors/mentees discussed aspects of the grant writing and implementation process, as exemplified by the presentations and as related to American Indian communities and research career development. In the larger conference, selected mentees presented at poster sessions.
In 2011, members of the AI/AN workgroup coordinated symposia related to American Indian health, with an emphasis on substance abuse and mental health. These symposia were held at conferences including the American Psychological Association and the Society for Psychological Anthropology. Mentees presented culturally relevant research at these symposia.
Resources and Links
- CDC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities – AI/AN
- Medline Plus – Native-American Health
- National Library of Medicine – American Indian Health
- Native to Native mentorship web site: www.oneskycenter.org/osc/mentorship/native-to-native-network/
- PAR-11-346 Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Native American Populations (R01)
- NARCH FOA: to be issued
- Native Voices: Native Peoples' Concepts of Health and Illness - NLM
- Trans-NIH AI/AN Health Communications & Information Work Group