Creating Qungasvik (a Yup'ik intervention "toolbox"): case examples from a community-developed and culturally-driven intervention.


This paper describes the development of a Yup'ik Alaska Native approach to suicide and alcohol abuse prevention that resulted in the creation of the Qungasvik, a toolbox promoting reasons for life and sobriety among youth. The Qungasvik is made up of thirty-six modules that function as cultural scripts for creating experiences in Yup'ik communities that build strengths and protection against suicide and alcohol abuse. The Qungasvik manual represents the results of a community based participatory research intervention development process grounded in culture and local process, and nurtured through a syncretic blending of Indigenous and Western theories and practices. This paper will provide a description of the collaborative steps taken at the community-level to develop the intervention modules. This process involved university researchers and community members coming together and drawing from multiple sources of data and knowledge to inform the development of prevention activities addressing youth suicide and alcohol abuse. We will present case examples describing the development of three keystone modules; Qasgiq (The Men's House), Yup'ik Kinship Terms, and Surviving Your Feelings. These modules each are representative of the process that the community co-researcher team took to develop and implement protective experiences that: (1) create supportive community, (2) strengthen families, and (3) give individuals tools to be healthy and strong.

Yupik Eskimo
Location Description: 

Alaska AK