Native Men’s Wellness Program Achievements and Dedication to Future Successes

A NMWP intern teaches his son about their culture with music.

Southcentral Foundation’s Native Men’s Wellness Program is dedicated to improving the health of Alaska Native and American Indian men through events and training that address the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of their lives. The program addresses six core areas concerning Native men today — family wellness, healthy living, cultural connectivity, community awareness, employability, and planning for the future. Native Men’s Wellness Program also offers cultural activities, life skills learning circles, men’s health week, training, education and development experience, mentorship, and peer support. A core value integrated into the learning is family wellness by supporting the individual’s overall wellness and encouraging men to take ownership of their personal health.

Facilitated activities are relevant to participants’ heritage to maintain positive cultural values and a sense of core identity. Examples of this include a drum making and kayak construction classes. Native Men’s Wellness Program support participants by finding the best path for each individual and identifying the person’s strengths and skills, which will help them find future employment opportunities. Individual development plans are created in partnership with every participant to help the men with on-the-job training within departments across SCF.

Native Men’s Wellness Program was funded by TEDE grant (Training, Education, and Development Experience), which is a five-year grant from Administration for Native Americans. TEDE offers professional training and skill development opportunities. One method that encourages participants to engage with learning is pyramid training, which consists of interns teaching one another their skills.

The program exceeded its grant requirements a year in advance. It also met the goal of supporting 200 people who came through the program seeking help with resumes and job searches.

SCF’s Native Mens Wellness Program’s end goal is to support and grow interns to gain full-time employment within SCF or with another organization that best utilizes the individual’s skill sets. There are currently 136 participants who remain active in the program.

by Shamika Andrew

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