Office of National Drug Control Policy reaches out to Native American leaders

Drug-free communities grant workshop scheduled

WASHINGTON, D.C.-On Friday, Feb. 2, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in cooperation with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Coalition Institute (NCI), and White Bison, a nonprofit organization that helps coordinate healing resources within Native American communities, announced a two-day grant application workshop to assist Native American communities who wish to compete for Federal Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grants. 

The workshop will focus on how Native American, Urban Indian, Native Alaskan, and those Native peoples living in other areas can organize their community level substance abuse prevention activities in order to receive support through the DFC grant program. The two-day Native American Drug-Free Communities grant application workshop will be held on Feb. 27 and 28, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. To register, visit https://www.cmpinc.net/dfc/.

In addition to sharing the basic requirements and application process for DFC grants, representatives of Drug-Free Communities coalitions from Native American communities will also be on hand to share their experiences in applying for and becoming DFC grantees. DFC grants can provide up to $500,000 over five years to help leverage Native American community substance abuse prevention efforts in a culturally appropriate manner.

"The Drug-Free Communities grant program is an important substance abuse prevention tool," said ONDCP Director John P. Walters. "DFC brings local leaders together to solve substance abuse problems. I appreciate the assistance of White Bison, and the strong support of the Native American population in wanting to learn more about this important program. Together, the Federal government and Native Americans can work to reduce and prevent substance abuse."

Incidentally, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, American Indians and Alaska Natives suffer disproportionately from substance abuse disorders, compared with other racial groups in the United States. Native Americans and Alaska Natives reported higher than average past-year illicit drug use disorders compared to other racial groups (5.0 percent versus 2.9 percent) and higher than average past-year alcohol use disorders (10.7 percent versus 7.6 percent).

The Native American Drug-Free Communities grant workshop is a cooperative venture between ONDCP, its Federal partners, and White Bison. Under the leadership of its Founder and President Don Coyhis (Mohican Nation), White Bison has offered healing resources to Native America since 1988. White Bison offers sobriety, recovery, addiction prevention, and wellness learning resources to the Native American community nationwide.

"White Bison's mission is to assist in bringing 100 Native American communities into healing by 2010," said White Bison President Don Coyhis. "The Drug-Free Communities program is one of the most significant ways we can accomplish this task. I implore my fellow Native Americans to attend this very important grant application training workshop. We need Native American communities to start the healing today."

Each year, ONDCP and its partners host a series of grant application workshops throughout the United States to assist substance abuse prevention community coalitions in applying for Drug-Free Communities grants. Along with the Native American grant application workshop in Las Vegas, Nevada, there will be four additional DFC grant workshops in: Washington D.C.; St. Louis, Missouri; Seattle, Washington; and New Orleans, Louisiana. 

To learn more about the Drug-Free Communities program, visit http://www.ondcp.gov/dfc.

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