Empowering the Next Generation of Native Research Scientists

Two weeks ago I paid my first visit to Stone Child College, the official Tribal College of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe. Stone Child is located in the gorgeous Bears Paw Mountains in North-Central Montana; rarely do I enjoy a drive to work as beautiful as the trip from Bozeman to the town of Box Elder. I was invited by the American Higher Indian Education Consortium to explore how the Science of the Positive might help empower the next generation of Native American research scientists. I had the honor of being accompanied by my dear friend and colleague Dr. Cecil White hat from Minnesota. Cecil and I spent two days with a dynamic group of Stone Child students and administrators unpacking the Positive Community Norms framework, discussing how native traditions can serve as Cultural Protective Factors, and talking about how perceptions of norms (how most people think others feel and act) act as powerful risk and protective factors when it comes to improving community health.  I was energized by how my colleagues there see the Science of the Positive as a bridge between Native and Western Science philosophies. I'm looking forward to great things from Stone Child graduates in the future, and to my next visit to this beautiful corner of Montana.