Interventions can be adapted to better serve Indigenous people

July 12, 2021

To better serve Indigenous youth, a group of researchers set out to make a substance-use intervention known as The Strengthening Families program more culturally relevant. The program was renamed Bii- Zin-Da-De-Dah (or Listening to One Another to Grow Strong) and was modified and implemented across four culturally-distinct First Nations communities in Canada. Because of the diversity across the communities — located in BC, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec — each added content consistent with its own traditions, values and needs.

Adaptations included new material on promoting mental health and preventing adolescent suicide, while retaining core program elements. Based on preliminary data, the program was well received, with community members asking to participate and with positive attendance and graduation rates. This project shows that interventions can be meaningfully adapted for Indigenous youth by engaging with their communities.