The Culturally Grounded Life Skills for Youth Curriculum uses the Canoe Journey as a metaphor, providing youth the skills needed to navigate their journey through life without being pulled off course by alcohol or drugs – with tribal culture, tradition and values as compass to guide them, and anchor to ground them.
The Healing of the Canoe Project is a collaborative project between the Suquamish Tribe, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington. Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam both identified the prevention of youth substance abuse and the need for a sense of cultural belonging and cultural revitalization among youth as primary issues of community concern. The Healing of the Canoe partnership sought to address these issues through a community based, culturally grounded prevention and intervention life skills curriculum for tribal youth that builds on the strengths and resources in the community.
Since 2013, the Healing of the Canoe team has focused on dissemination of the Culturally Grounded Life Skills for Youth Curriculum to other tribal communities. We are excited to report that to date we have trained a total of 498 attendees from 50 Tribes and 19 tribal organizations in how to adapt and implement the curriculum (view full list of tribes and organizations trained). We also added two new chapters focused on suicide prevention and intervention. This was accomplished in collaboration with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board.
For more background and information about the project, please visit our about and history pages, or watch our short videos. You can also read about the Healing of the Canoe project curriculum in this article published in Yes! Magazine.