Albuquerque, NM, May 15, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Native professionals who require development opportunities have a new source for training without traveling. Indian Country Training Institute (ICTI), a subsidiary of Native owned and operated Lamar Associates, is rolling out a number of new online courses at OJJDP's Online University, suitable for those working in or establishing youth programs, tribal law enforcement; child welfare workers working with Native American children; teachers and school administrators at institutions with tribal youth; behavioral and mental health professionals, tribal court personnel, and all those who seek to work collaboratively to benefit young people. The first course is already published, with at least seven more to come in the near future.
The initial offering, Introduction to Collaborative Community Partnerships, sets the stage for the rest. This course was fully funded by the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to help members of a tribal community work together to develop and sustain community-based programs that address specific needs of youth, whether they involve teaching healthy lifestyles or working with troubled youth to help them become productive community members. As Lamar Associates president Walter Lamar says in the training, "If not us, then who? Too much is at stake."
The OJJDP has been supporting these kinds of collaborations under their Tribal Youth Program division, and are seeing a great deal of success. Some tribal youth programs have resulted in reduced truancy; other tribes work with dozens of families each year to restore balance and harmony to their lives. Tribal youth programs that support preventative activities engage elders, artists and other community members to develop engaging programs that help children develop pride in their identity and encourage them to choose a healthy lifestyle.
As appealing as these outcomes may be, it's not enough to implement a copycat program and expect it to succeed. One energetic person or one good grant can create lots of temporary progress, but when the person is gone or the money runs out, the program rarely survives. The collaborative process not only results in programming that specifically addresses community needs, but the relationships developed usually result in a more sustainable program.
The other perennial issue in Indian Country is that the complex jurisdiction, laws and relationships between tribal governments and their surrounding locales makes each community different in its needs and requirements for working with local, state and federal governments. Collaborating allows each community to come up with realistic solutions to resolving jurisdiction and serving Native youth. Cross-cultural misunderstandings, or distrust rooted in historical trauma can be also addressed and overcome through the collaborative process.
The ICTI course offers a useful overview of how to develop such a partnership, including an exploration of how tribes can draw from tradition to work across disciplines; what challenges to expect; and a step-by-step process for building a coalition. Future courses in this series will focus on case studies of successful collaborative partnerships for tribal youth and partnering to create alternatives to juvenile detention.
ICTI will be releasing another series of tuition-free online training on collaborating to respond to drug endangered Native youth, particularly aimed at law enforcement and child welfare professionals. These tuition free courses, as well as courses for professional credit, are available at the Indian Country Training Institute website, www.indiancountrytraining.net
Lamar Associates is a 100 percent American Indian owned and operated professional services firm specializing in law enforcement, security and emergency preparedness. Lamar Associates' services focus on Indian Country issues.
Our consulting, training and technical assistance programs are designed to empower tribal communities by providing results-oriented solutions and problem-solving strategies to address today’s challenging issues in Indian Country.