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Cherokee Talking Circle

Nov 25, 2014

from Crime Solutions:

The Cherokee Talking Circle (CTC) is a culturally based intervention targeting substance abuse among Native American adolescents. The program was designed for students who were part of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, the eighth largest tribe in Oklahoma. The goal of the CTC is to reduce substance abuse, with abstinence as the ideal outcome for students....

The intervention is aimed at Keetoowah–Cherokee students ages 13 to 18 who are in the early stages of substance misuse and who are also experiencing negative consequences as a result of their substance use....

The CTC program integrates Keetoowah–Cherokee values into the intervention and is based on the Cherokee concept of self-reliance. The Keetoowah–Cherokee use self-reliance as part of an overall worldview that all things come together to form a whole.... 

The Keetoowah–Cherokee believe that self-reliance comes from being three things: responsible, disciplined, and confident. Responsibility means one has a duty to care for oneself and others by getting assistance, respecting oneself, respecting others, and respecting one’s Creator. Being disciplined refers to setting and pursuing goals, taking the initiative to make decisions, and taking risks. Being confident means having a sense of identity and self-worth. Two major cultural themes cut across all three of the categories: 1) being true to oneself and 2) being connected, which means identifying and using the resources found in creation....

The materials required to implement this program are the Cherokee Talking Circle manuals. The manuals are available in English and Cherokee languages. 

With regards to training requirements/provider certification, the group leader must identify as Keetoowah–Cherokee, be trained in the Cherokee Talking Circle, and be culturally engaged and involved in the Cherokee community. The leader needs to understand Keetoowah–Cherokee history and traditions and how these can be applied to the treatment of youths with substance use/abuse....

Lowe and colleagues (2012) found that the Cherokee Talking Circle (CTC) program was significantly more effective overall in reducing substance abuse and other related problem behaviors among Native American adolescents, compared with other nonculturally, standard substance abuse education (SE) programs.

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