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History of the Native Initiative

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration established the FASD Center for Excellence in 2001 to create awareness about FASD and to improve the quality of life for individuals and families who are affected by FASD. The Center provides national leadership in the fight against FASD and encourages community collaboration with those working in the field of FASD. The Native Initiative focuses efforts on FASD among American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. To guide the work of the Center, Native representatives working in the field of FASD have served as Expert Panel members providing advice and feedback on Native initiatives and activities. Support to Native communities emphasizes traditional themes such as the importance of family, the healing power of communities, and the role of a vision in producing positive results.

The Center conducts dozens of training sessions, workshops, and presentations for tribes and Native organizations to improve outcomes for Native individuals and communities. As a result of the technical assistance provided by the FASD Center, a tribe in the Southwest developed an FASD Task Force and FASD Coordinator position. Training and technical assistance can be requested by completing the request form located at:

The Center hosted Native Leaders Meetings in Alaska, Hawaii, and Wisconsin during 2011 and 2012 to create awareness of FASD to key decision makers such as Tribal leaders, elders, Native organization executive directors, and others. The resulting collaborations were a highly-effective means for stakeholders to share information and to develop action plans which address FASD at the local and state level.