Researchers at the Center for Alaska Native Health Research have been collaborating with Yup’ik communities to address challenges facing Alaskan youth for the last decade. While culture plays a substantial role in reducing disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native populations, many questions remain about he mechanisms that produce this protective effect.
The Qungasvik (qoo ngaz vik) or ‘tools for life’ prevention model is grounded in Yup’ik cultural and an indigenous knowledge framework. In the past, the qasgiq (qaz giq), or communal house, was both a traditional communal living structure and a problem-solving process based on the collective will and decision of the people. The concept of qasgiq guides both the Qungasvik intervention implementation and the development of its community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach.
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