Tradition and Technology: Project Nurtures Both Among Native Americans in Seattle

The Seattle Indian Health Board developed a series of opportunities for Alaska-Native and American-Indian youth and recovering alcoholics to gain exposure to jobs and education.

The Seattle Indian Health Board provides an array of health and social services primarily to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program, Healthy Nations®: Reducing Substance Abuse Among Native Americans.

Key Results

Project staff:

  • Organized annual "SpiritWalks" in which 250 people participated with about 1,000 spectators. The walk-a-thons raised $40,000 for the Healthy Nations project and became a source for recruiting volunteers.
  • Coordinated a summer work-study project called Options, for 95 high school youth.
  • Oversaw a Microsoft mentoring project where youth spent time with Microsoft Native American employees. Of the 37 students who participated, 75 percent went on to higher education.
  • Established a computer technology center that troubled youth from an alternative Native American High School, as well as youth and adults in recovery, attended.
  • Supported the Red Eagle Soaring Native Theater Group by providing funds for about 25 youth a year to participate in Red Eagle's theater project.
  • Coordinated employment training and placement services for adults in recovery. About 32 clients got jobs or enrolled in school.