The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) highlighted urban Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention (MSPI) and Domestic Violence Intervention Initiative (DVPI) programs in 2016 to capture the unique stories and program efforts being made in meth, suicide, and domestic violence prevention. We highlighted successes, best and promising practices, and how our programs are positively impacting Urban Native communities.


South Dakota Urban Indian Health "Circle of Healing" Program

The Circle of Healing MSPI program at South Dakota Urban Indian Health (SDUIH) has been flourishing for the past six years and in this new grant year, has taken on new initiatives to reach a wider population of youth and adults. Circle of Healing provides for cultural activities that view “culture as treatment.” Program staff include Donna Keeler, SDUIH Executive Director and Circle of Healing Program Director, and Kate Zimmerman, Program Coordinator. Their Sioux Falls and Pierre sites have begun once-weekly Elder’s Coffee and Beading groups to gather elders together to discuss current issues and provide a place for them to share their wisdom; the Pierre site offers a weekly Lakota

Language Class and bi-monthly Talking Circles as well. boy with talking stick

SDUIH youth activities have taken on a new venue this past fall, and they have partnered with two boarding schools; the Pierre Indian Learning Center in Pierre, SD serving elementary and middle school aged youth and the Flandreau Indian School in Flandreau, SD serving high school youth. They utilize The Change Companies’ “Strengthening of the Spirit” curriculum to address substance use and intervention as well as suicide prevention and intervention. Both sites have experienced  suicide by students in the past six months and counselors from SDUIH were invited to participate in post-vention activities for survivors along with the already established weekly groups. In a short six months, SDUIH has provided over 42 prevention/intervention groups and have served over 229 youth. They are currently assisting students in making the transition to their home communities for the summer and have partnered with the Center for Equality in Sioux Falls and the Wholeness Center in Flandreau, SD to create a private Facebook page for students at Flandreau Indian School to stay engaged with their peers and their counselors over the summer. 

Previous Spotlights:

April 2016