Document Type

Honors Project


Since the early 2000s, the opioid epidemic has had a devastating sweep across Indian Country. The White Earth nation declared the epidemic as a public health emergency back in 2011. Since then White Earth has developed community-based harm reduction and culturally grounded models of intervention for substance use disorder that continue to influence Native Nations across the U.S. This project centers on Anishinaabe approaches to the ongoing opioid public health crisis but also elaborates on Anishinaabe forms of healing and resistance. My primary method was conducting oral histories with White Earth community youth workers and advocates. My research project asks: what are the cultural frameworks and practices that inform and shape substance abuse interventions in White Earth, specifically for Indigenous youth? My research and interviews revealed that culturally informed, intersectional approaches to Indigenous wellness and healing— healing across generations—require continual resistance to ongoing settler-colonial and white supremacist, heteropatriarchal violence.



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