Native STAND is a comprehensive sexual health curriculum for Native high school students that focuses on sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, and teen pregnancy prevention, while also covering drug and alcohol use, suicide, and dating violence. Twenty-seven sessions support healthy decision-making through interactive discussions and activities that promote diversity, self-esteem, goals and values, team building, negotiation and refusal skills, and effective communication. The 1.5 hour lessons contain stories from tribal communities that ground learning in cultural teachings.
Formal training is not required to implement the Native STAND curriculum.
Native STAND is an inter-tribal curriculum for high school-aged teens (14-18 years old) that draws on cultural teachings and values from across Indian Country and Alaska. We hope that learning other Native cultures, traditions, and perspectives will serve to strengthen a sense of pride, not only for one’s own tribe, but for all Native American tribes. The curriculum is flexible and can be easily adapted to include specific stories and traditions from your own community. The Native STAND curriculum was adapted by the Indian Health Service, the National Coalition of STD Directors, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from an evidence-based intervention: Students Together Against Negative Decisions (STAND). The original STAND was developed for rural youth to promote healthy decision making around sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, and teen pregnancy prevention, by Dr. Mike Smith at the Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia. The adaptation process for Native STAND included:
Native STAND is based on the Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change) and the Diffusion of Innovations Theory (using popular opinion leaders). Evaluation data show that participation in STAND can lead to increased communication about sexual issues, improvements in knowledge and self-efficacy, and substantial adoption of risk-reducing behaviors among teens who completed the program. In 2010, a mixed-methods study was conducted to evaluate Native STAND in four Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) boarding schools. Eighty students were selected by fellow students to be trained as peer educators using the curriculum. Native STAND was delivered in 1½ hour classes by two or three adult staff at each school, each of whom had been trained to facilitate the curriculum. A comprehensive pre- and post- computer assisted self-interview (CASI) survey was administered to participating students to assess changes in knowledge, attitudes, intentions, behaviors, and skills over time. At the end of the program, a series of focus groups and key informant interviews were also carried out with separate groups of students, facilitators, and school staff not directly involved in the program to identify programmatic strengths and weaknesses and to inform final program revisions. Using similar methods, Oregon Health & Science University’s Prevention Research Center, a Northwest Tribe, and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board collaborated to evaluate Native STAND in a tribal Jr High/High School between 2010-2012. In each of the trials:
I had the opportunity to teach the Native STAND curriculum after-school in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to several tribal prevention and youth programs. It’s a great program to teach skills to young people about healthy decision making and reducing risky behaviors. Once a teen completes this program, they can then serve as a peer educator or youth leader for their community with information, resources and referral. I plan to continue to teach as it is having a positive impact.