Partnership, knowledge translation, and substance abuse prevention with a First Nations community.


BACKGROUND: Having identified substance abuse as an issue of concern in their community, the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation invited University of Alberta researchers to partner on the cultural adaptation, delivery, and evaluation of a school-based drug and alcohol abuse prevention program. Researchers conducted a literature review of available drug and alcohol prevention programs for children and youth, identifying the Life Skills Training (LST) program as a viable model for cultural adaptation. OBJECTIVES: Four program objectives were developed: (1) Review and cultural adaptation of the elementary and junior high LST programs, (2) delivery of the adapted programs, (3) measurement of changes in students' knowledge of the negative effects of drug and alcohol use, attitudes toward drugs and alcohol, drug and alcohol refusal and life skills, and changes in self-esteem/self-concept, and (4) documentation of the community's experience of the project. METHODS: Using the principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR), we employed both qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate the impact of the project. RESULTS: Qualitative evaluation of the program adaptation and implementation were both positive. Qualitative measures of program impact on students revealed a positive effect, whereas results of the quantitative measures were mixed. CONCLUSIONS: Culturally adapted, evidence-based programs can have a positive effect on Aboriginal youth and their communities. Strategies to expand knowledge translation (KT) when working with Aboriginal communities include working to create an "ethical space" that draws on the strengths of both Western and Indigenous worldview

First Nations