Native STAND

About Native Students Together Against Negative Decisions (Native STAND)

Native STAND is a culturally relevant healthy decision-making curriculum designed to enhance and promote positive Native youth development and wellbeing. Through a partnership between the OHSU Center for Healthy Communities and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB), 48 tribal health educators were trained to implement Native STAND in their home communities. The Center for Healthy Communities is now evaluating the adoption and impact of Native STAND on the participating sites.


The original intervention, STAND (Students Together Against Negative Decisions), was created at Mercer University in Georgia, and was designed for youth in the rural South. The program was very effective and showed promising benefits for other groups of youth, including tribal teens. With funding and support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Indian Health Services National STD Program, and the National Coalition of STD Directors, tribal health leaders from around the United States were assembled to culturally adapt STAND for use in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The enhanced curriculum was then reviewed by Native youth groups and a cadre of external expert reviewers from Indian Country. Subsequently, the effectiveness of Native STAND has been validated in four Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools and one reservation community.


Native STAND is a curriculum for teens 14-18 years old. The program is comprised of 27 active learning sessions, each lasting 90 minutes. Sessions are designed to be held once per week, and work best for groups of 15 to 20 teens. The curriculum holistically addresses healthy decision-making. It develops knowledge and skills for healthy relationships and self-esteem, prevention of STDs and early pregnancy, and avoiding substance abuse.

Teens who receive the Native STAND program often go on to become peer educators, engaging in health promoting conversations with other teens. In this way, Native STAND empowers tribal youth to communicate accurate sexual health information to other teens.

To view the Native STAND Manuals and lesson plans, click here.


Native STAND has been validated in four BIE schools and one reservation community.  The major positive impacts are:

  • Teens demonstrated significant and consistent improvements in knowledge of STD/HIV prevention, reproductive health, and healthy relationships.
  • Teens reported sharing information they had learned with other teens.
  • The tribal adults who facilitated the Native STAND curriculum learned how to better communicate and teach teens on sensitive health topics.
  • School staff and administrators felt Native STAND was addressing critical gaps in tribal adolescent sexual health education.

To view a published report documenting the effectiveness of Native STAND, click here.