Our research initiatives utilize Indigenous-based methodologies to form practices through evidence-based findings.
Examining Socio-Cultural Influences, Knowledge, and Acceptability of Biomedical HIV Prevention Methods: Native American College Students
The primary objective of this study is to examine sociocultural barriers and facilitators that impact HIV biomedical prevention strategies by collecting quantitative survey data (n=300) among Native American/Alaska Native college students nationwide.
Examining Health and Social Indicators Among Native American Cisgender and Transgender Women who Engage in Sex Work in an Urban Environment
This project will work with Community Impact Partners to identify health and social indicators among cisgender and transgender Native American women to help them develop their own strategies for positive change around engagement of sex work to formulate a plan with the community for projects, programs and policies moving forward to address inequities of social determinants of health.
Outcomes of Mental Health and Substance Use Interventions for Native Americans with Co-occurring Disorders
This study will measure participants at 3-month, 6-month, 9-month and 12-month for the effectiveness of the interventions by measuring outcomes of substance use, mental health and trauma-related issues.
Contribution to the 11th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Participation of indigenous youth in high-level meeting on youth10
UNICEF worked with UN DESA/UNPFII to ensure that the voices of indigenous youth were heard at the UN high-level meeting on youth, which took place in New York on 25-26 July 2011. Support was provided to Crystal Lee, a young Navajo woman who founded United Natives, Inc., an on-line mentoring programme for Native American undergraduate students. On behalf of indigenous youth and the UN Indigenous Youth Caucus, Ms. Lee made an intervention from the floor of the General Assembly in which she called for the effective participation of indigenous youth in international decision-making.
This study was conducted with Dr. Crystal Lee and an associate research team from University of New Mexico to identify resilience factors and mental health outcomes among Native American high school students in New Mexico.
Healthy Native Youth: Improving Access to Effective, Culturally-Relevant Sexual Health Curricula
Tribal health educators across the United States have found it challenging to locate engaging, culturally-relevant sexual health curricula for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth. Healthy Native Youth is a new online resource that provides a “one-stop-shop” for tribal health advocates to access age-appropriate curricula. The site was designed by a team of advisers representing a diverse group of tribal communities, using a collaborative planning process. The website content and navigation was then refined through usability testing with the target audience. The portal allows users to filter and compare curricula on multiple dimensions, including: age, delivery setting, duration, cost, and evidence of effectiveness, to determine best-fit. It includes all materials needed for implementation free-of-charge, including: facilitator training tools, lesson plans, materials to support participant marketing and recruitment, information about each program's cultural relevance, evaluation methods and findings, and references to publications and reports. The website currently includes mCircle of Life, Native It's Your Game, Native STAND, Native VOICES, and Safe in the Village, among others. Since its launch in August 2016, the site has had over 31,000 page views in all 50 States. The Healthy Native Youth portal provides educators in rural communities a promising new tool to support the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based health curricula in geographically-disbursed AI/AN communities. Lessons learned during the design and dissemination of the Healthy Native Youth website may be of value to other Indigenous populations interested in our approach and our findings.
Adapting and Piloting an Evidence-~Based HIV/AIDS and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Intervention for Native American Teens
Native American youth are at disproportionate risk for HIV infection. Native Americans represent about 1.7% of the U.S. population, yet they rank fifth in HIV/AIDS diagnosis nationwide (U.S. Census, 2012; CDCd 2013). Native Americans with HIV/AIDS are more likely to be younger than non-Native Americans with the disease. There are limited evidence-based HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy prevention interventions that have been developed, adapted, and/or evaluated for Native American teens. The purpose of this study was to adapt an existing evidence-based HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy prevention intervention into a culturally responsive intervention curriculum for Native teens.
Anastario M, Leston J, Crisp C, Lee MC, Rink E. (2021). A qualitative study of services
accessibility for Indigenous persons who use injection drugs across three communities in the United States. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse. In Review.
Crisp C, Leston J, Lee MC, Rink E. (2020). Interviews with American Indian and Alaska Native
people who inject drugs. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research,
Leston J, Crisp C, Lee C, Rink E, Reilley B, Mera J, Rink E. (2019). An interview project with
Native American people: A community-based study to identify actionable steps to reduce health disparities. Public Health, (12), 1-10.
Thompson-Robinson M, Atkins-Girourd P, Andrews J, Shegog M, Lee C. (2018). Teen
pregnancy prevention and African American faith-based organizations: Lessons learned from the Southern Nevada Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project. Journal of Public Health Issues and Practices, 2, 127.
Lee C, Thompson-Robinson M, Dodge-Francis C. (2018). Feasibility and acceptability of an
adapted HIV prevention intervention for Native American adolescents. AIDS Education and Prevention, 30(1), 72-84.
2014 Overcoming Youth Marginalization Policy Report. Columbia University Global Policy Initiative in collaboration with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth