The Indian Health Service announced 42 Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative funding awards to Tribes, Tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations and IHS federal government programs at the White House on Sept. 29.
The Osage Nation received $295,551, just one of six tribes to receive the funding in Oklahoma. The funding is for one year, with the opportunity to apply for three additional years of funding.
According to statistics from the Osage Nation Prevention Program, Osage County has a higher youth suicide rate than the state average among youth ages 15-24. The suicide rate for youth ages 15-19 double the state average. More than 1,000 Osage County public school students were surveyed by the ONPP.
“The team [ONPP] discovered the average first use of cigarettes and alcohol is the 8th grade; the average first use of marijuana is the 10th grad; and the average first abuse of prescription drugs is the 11th grade. Those are very alarming statistics when the 2010 U.S. Census reports nearly a quarter of the Osage County Native American population is comprised of youth under the age of 25,” according to an Osage Nation press release.
The ONPP has community projects lined up for the fall and spring that will focus and promote family engagement. They are:
- Guarding Our Future Project
- Safe Night After Prom (SNAP) events
- Too Good for Drugs (Grades 3-5)
- Too Good for Violence (Grades 6-8)
“Native children, youth and families face adverse experiences, trauma, toxic stress and adversity. However, we know that protective factors provided through caring adults, traditional practices and Native language and culture help offset negative outcomes and foster the long-term development of resilience,” said IHS Principal Deputy Director Mary L. Smith.
The ONPP Youth Center hopes to open every Friday in November at the ONPP location at 128 East 6th Street in Pawhuska. For more information, contact the Osage Nation Prevention Program at (918) 287-5595.
More than $7 million was awarded for the grant this year. The Oklahoma tribes that received the funding include:
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma $125,000
Citizen Potawatomi Nation $172,780
Delaware Tribe of Indians $55,578
Osage Nation $295,551
Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma $300,000
Tonkawa Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma $200,759