Center for Alaska Native Health Research
2141 Koyukuk Drive
205 Arctic Health Research Building
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000

Phone: 907-474-5528

1-888-470-5576 toll-free within Alaska

Fax: 907-474-5700

Native Transformations Project: Discovering Sources of Strength and Resilience from Drug Abuse in the Pacific Northwest


This project brings together university and community co-researchers from UAF, the Northwest Indian College and three tribes in the Pacific Northwest to address disparities in drug and alcohol abuse using tribal participatory and strengths-based approaches.

This study builds on the People Awakening Project, a past CANHR project that investigated the life histories of 101 Alaska Native individuals who had never developed substance abuse issues or who had maintained sobriety or wellness for five or more years. The People Awakening Project was the first step in the development of a Yup’ik Alaska Native intervention process to increase strengths and protections against substance abuse and suicide for youth growing up today in the villages.

This project began with a similar desire to know more about the lives of tribal members who are well and strong. This study aims to gather 60 life histories from individuals in the Pacific Northwest who have demonstrated resistance to or resilience from substance abuse.

The long-term goal of the project is to strengthen the local capacity for tribes to conduct research to reduce health disparities and increase strengths and protections.

Stacy Rasmus, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

William Freeman, M.D., Co-Investigator

William Conner, Ph.D., Project Director

Northwest Indian College Center for Health

Funder: NIH/National Institute of Drug Abuse, R01DA029002