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American Indian/Alaska Native Researchers and Scholars Workgroup (AIANRSWG)

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.

Upcoming Events

  • TBD

Resources and Links

Workgroup Roster

  • Raymond Daw, M.A.
    Health Services Administrator
    Navajo Department of Behavioral Health
    Area of Expertise: Native American Cultural
    Competency, Behavioral Health
  • R. Dale Walker, M.D.
    Professor and Director
    Department of Psychiatry and Public Health and Preventative Medicine
    Center for American Indian Health,
    Education and Research, One Sky Center
    Oregon Health and Science University
    Area of Expertise: Prevention and Treatment
    of Addiction and Mental Health Issues of
    American Indians Community Based
    Participatory Research, Cultural Issues
  • Joseph P. Gone, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Psychology & American Culture
    Department of Psychology
    University of Michigan
    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
  • Clyde B. McCoy, Ph.D.
    Department of Epidemiology and Public Health,
    University of Miami School of Medicine
    Miami, FL 33136
    Area of Expertise: Broad Span of
    Epidemiology, Substance Abuse, Cancer,
    Early Detection of Breast Cancer, HIVAIDS,
    Community Studies, Health
    Planning, and Health Services
  • Bernard Segal, Ph.D.
    Professor Emeritus
    Northern Forum, University of Alaska
    Area of Expertise: Substance Abuse
  • Sally Stevens, Ph.D.
    Executive Director and Professor
    Southwest Institute for Research on Women
    University of Arizona
    Affiliation: Women's Studies Department,
    Southwest Institute for Research on Women,
    University of Arizona
    Area of Expertise: Cultural and Gender
    Issues specific to Mexican-origin Hispanics
    and Native Americans in the Southwestern
    United States, Health Disparities, Substance
    Abuse, HIV and other infectious diseases,
    Education and Mental Health Issues
  • Pamela Jumper Thurman, Ph.D.
    Project Director; Senior Research Scientist
    Colorado State University,
    Center for Applied Studies in American Ethnicity
    Colorado State University
    Ethnic Studies Department
    Fort Collins, CO 80523-1790
    Area of Expertise: HIV/AIDS, Substance
    Use, Violence Prevention, Community
    Based Participatory Research, Cultural
  • Kamilla L. Venner, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Psychology
    University of New Mexico/CASAA
    Albuquerque, NM 87106
  • Karina L. Walters, M.S.W., Ph.D.
    School of Social Work, Interdisciplinary
    Indigenous Wellness Research Institute,
    University of Washington
    Seattle WA 98105-6299
    Area of Expertise: American Indian and
    Alaska Native Health, Mental Health,
    Substance Abuse, and Trauma
  • Dolores Subia BigFoot, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor
    University of Oklahoma School of Medicine
    Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
    Oklahoma City, OK 73190
    Discipline: Clinical Child Psychology
  • Dennis K. Norman, Ed.D., ABPP
    Chief of Psychology, MGH
    Faculty Chair, Harvard University Native
    American Program
    John F. Kennedy School of Government
    Cambridge, MA 02138

This page was last updated April 2012

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