The American Indian College Fund has collaborated with the United Health Foundation to award 11 Native American North Dakota college students with scholarships through United Health’s Foundation Tribal Wellness Scholarship Program.
The United Health Foundation Tribal Wellness Scholarship Program inspires Native American college students to pursue careers in the mental health field to help their communities recover from substance abuse in a fashion that aligns with their tribal traditions and culture.
The program includes scholarships, job training, academic support, mentorships and research opportunities and was funded through a United Health Foundation grant back in May 2018.
In a state with a lower rate of deaths due to drug overdose, North Dakota has experienced a steady increase of drug-related deaths, increasing 90 percent between 2014 and 2017.
“Communities across the country are being devastated by substance abuse. Educating culturally competent health professionals in tribal and rural communities is part of an effective response to this crisis,” said Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. “We need to bring our own knowledge and resources to healing our family members, and providing scholarships for health education does that for us.”