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Leadership Academy

Leadership Academy: For American Indian and Alaska Native Behavioral Health Professionals

Community-Based Change Through Leadership

This year-long program, supported by the National American Indian and Alaska Native Prevention, Mental Health, and Addiction Technology Transfer Centers, offers a unique opportunity for mental health, behavioral health, substance use providers, or helping professionals to explore their unique skills and leadership potential through trainings, an individual project, and mentor support.

Learning in a structured program: 

  • Development of knowledge and expertise in the behavioral health field
  • Interactive learning opportunities and supervision from experienced mentors
  • Networking with other mentors and mentees across the country
  • In-person and virtual training, webinars, and project work
    • Monthly meetings
    • Immersion training
    • Enhancement session
    • Graduation
  • Certificate of Leadership upon completion

Recent Leadership Academy graduates have shared their projects. 
This series discusses important aspects of Indigenous communities' well-being. All presentations focus on mentee capstone projects developed during the program. The presenters describe projects that have impacted communities across the country.

To learn more about how other communities have utilized their resources and nurtured culturally supportive and diverse approaches, join us for upcoming presentations and view previous presentations below:

Upcoming presentations (register here):
Monday, Aug. 21: Community Involvement -- Mashaya Engel, MSW, CSW, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
Monday, Aug. 28: Creating a Space for Healing: The Native American Counseling and Healing Collective -- Chenoa Crwoshoe-Patterson, LCSW, LLC, Blackfeet/Karu

Monday, June 19th: Modoc Ancestral Run: Transcending Trauma through connection-- Monica (Yellowowl) Super, CADC, CPS, Pit River Tribe
Recognizing the right time, right place, and right people to actualize change, Monica Super lead her community in developing an ancestral run.  The goals of the ancestral run included creating a new narrative, building a connection with the land, and building resiliency factors.  Through spirit-led leadership, Monica brought her community together on their ancestral land, developing a unique, innovative approach to community healing and resilience.


Monday, June 12th: Implementing Trauma Informed Care in Primary Care Settings-- Melanie Hazle, MSBS, LMFT, Choctaw Nation Tribe
This presentation provides an overview of the CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACES study, and then follows with information on the need to implement ACEs screenings in the primary care setting.  Utilizing ACEs screening aids in identifying at risk AI/AN patients earlier in life and connecting them with adequate services and resources to addresses ACEs and reduce the likelihood of future mental health and physical health problems.


Monday, June 5th: Yoeme Life Skills Curriculum: Nau Te Inetene – Together We Heal-- Bridget Valenzuela, M.Ed, BHT, Pascua Yaqui Tribe
The Yoeme Life Skills Project is a collaborative initiative that seeks to promote cultural understanding, relationship building, and family strengthening through the integration of Yoeme history and culture. Bridget Valenzuela was driven to create this curriculum by recognizing identity as a foundation for progress and witnessing the transformative impact on youth when they acquire cultural knowledge. The curriculum covers themes such as the relationship to the land, identity, history, culture, traditional family values, ceremonial societies, and Yoeme spirituality and identity.


Monday, May 22: Healing is Resistance – Recovery as Liberation-- Maria C. Molina, LCSW, she/her/hers, Pascua Yaqui Tribe
In this personal, thought-provoking presentation, Maria Molina shares her family's story of healing and resistance. Through her experience and leadership, Maria impacted significant change in her organization, implementing evidence-based practices and trauma-informed care. Culture and liberation are highlighted as keys in bringing about significant healing and change.


Monday, May 15: Mashkizibii Mentoring Project - Bad River Survival Revival Series-- Lynn Maday, Peer Coordinator, Sr, Medweoshkakwe (Ojibwe)
“The youth have all the energy, but the elders know the way.” – Lynn Maday
Hoping to address mental health challenges and several sudden deaths among youths in the community, Lynn developed a comprehensive mentoring program to connect community youth with culturally skilled mentors. The mentoring program has successfully expanded to include many events connecting community members across different ages and backgrounds to strengthen the community.


Monday, April 24: Integrating Cultural Ideology into Tribal Health Practices-- Jason Butler, MS, Ute Tribe
Recognizing that culture is vital for healing, Jason Butler developed programs incorporating cultural ideology into tribal health practices. Wellness and culture go hand in hand, and utilizing this connection as the cornerstone of program development is critical to behavioral health programs. Through this approach, Jason has created unique, compelling, adaptable programs that have continued running and impacting the lives of many over the past several years.


Questions? Please contact: 

Monica Dreyer Rossi, Cand. Polit.
Program Manager, National American Indian & Alaska Native Leadership Academy
[email protected]



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