Online ECHO Clinic | May 5, 2020

Presentation Title: Harm Reduction in Tribal Communities

American Indian and Alaska Native people experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma at higher rates than the general population. This has serious implications for health throughout the lifespan. In this presentation, Dr. Danica Love Brown, Behavioral Health Manager at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, discusses adverse childhood experiences (6:1o), the impacts of trauma (8:05), and historical trauma (12:05). Blue Valentine, Harm Reduction Peer Specialist at the End HIV Oregon Project discusses what harm reduction is (15:30), as well as the origins of harm reduction (17:50). Francisca “Sissy” Rialtos, then, shares information about the Siletz Harm Reduction Program (21:30) and lessons learned as a Certified Recovery Mentor and Harm Reduction Outreach Specialist.


Presenter Bios

Danica Love Brown, MSW, Ph.D., is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, born and raised in Northern New Mexico. She currently is the Behavioral Health Manager at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and has worked as a mental health and substance abuse counselor, social worker and youth advocate for over 20 years. She has a history of working in the areas of prevention, drug and alcohol/mental health treatment, community and restorative justice, and sexual health with Native American and adjudicated youth, families and women. She specializes in working with culturally and socioeconomically diverse populations and Tribal communities, utilizing a trauma informed care framework.

Blue Valentine, CHW, is a Harm Reduction Peer Specialist that currently works as part of a cross-program team of communicable disease, health navigation, and harm reduction staff at Benton County Health Department, as part of the End HIV Oregon Project. Her work includes street and camp outreach, rapid testing, syringe services, client advocacy, naloxone distribution, and HIV and STI education. She coordinates a regional harm reduction group for the Linn, Benton, Lincoln and Siletz region that has a focus on overdose prevention and naloxone access. She started working in Harm Reduction in Los Angeles in 1992. She has extensive experience providing HIV/STI prevention and testing and syringe services to diverse communities, including: people who use drugs, people experiencing homelessness, sex workers, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people living with HIV.

Francisca “Sissy” Rilatos, CHW, Certified Recovery Mentor currently works as a Harm Reduction outreach specialist for the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians located in Siletz, Oregon.  Confederated Tribes of Siletz is the only tribe in Oregon that currently has a Harm reduction program.  Sissy is a Siletz tribal member and has lived in Siletz her entire life. She has an extensive background with addiction she has 20 years of lived experience which gives her the unique ability to reach clients with already established relationships.

Presentation Slides

Harm Reduction in Tribal Communities

Resources Provided

Invite to COVID-19 Harm Reduction, Syringe Exchange and Recovery Program Call