Building Community Collaboration and Cultural Resilience



Public health is where you are.

We connect with the communities we serve through collaborative partnerships and investing in opportunities that build potential for resilience, or to bounce back when faced with adversity. Over the years we have asserted that there are too many deficit based tools and measures, it is time to focus on strengths and resilience. We developed a community cultural resilience model below in partnership with Native Pride.


Four boxes horizontally aligned with the the following content: Environment is trauma, violence, colonization, discrimination and family discord. Cultural resilience is Spirituality, Cultural Activities, Rites of Passage, Ceremonies and Scared Sites. Intergenerational Connection Project is Cultural Knowledge, Language, Community, Attachment and relationships. Outcomes are Resilience (low risk) and Vulnerability (high risk), Outcomes are correlated to Cultural resilience.
Community Cultural Resilience Model


Based on this model, and our desired outcomes of high resilience and low risk, we created the community cultural resilience scale. This was administered during program activities and community events. Respondents rated their community's cultural resilience using a 5-point scale where 1= crisis, 2= Vulnerable, 3= Safe, 4= Stable, and 5= Thriving.


The four dimensions of community cultural resilience are:

  1. Community cultural knowledge and connections

  2. Community language involvement and usage

  3. Sense of community and attachment

  4. Community intergenerational connections


Our evaluation demonstrated that community cultural resilience scores increased from baseline to follow-up. A public health approaches requires us to document and define what resilience and collaboration mean before we begin to take action.


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