May 2, 2013
For the last three years, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium has partnered with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, the Indian Health Council of Arizona, and the University of Texas to develop "Natives: It's Your Game," an online sexual health curriculum for Alaska Natives and American Indians. The curriculum uses music and games to teach students about abstinence, sexual health, and decision making. Other topics covered by the program include healthy relationships and friendships, HIV and STD prevention, alcohol and drugs, and Internet safety.
HIV/STD Program Manager Connie Jessen stated that sex education should start when parents share "age-appropriate" information with their children. According to Jessen, middle school is a good time to educate students about peer pressure related to sex, drugs, and alcohol, so they "have the skills before they actually need them."
The consortium will evaluate the effectiveness of the online curriculum by comparing learning outcomes of groups who complete a science-based course on sexual and behavioral health with groups of students who complete "Natives: It's Your Game" online.
See www.iknowmine.org/for-youth/iyg#sthash.1znPhePg.dpbs for additional information about the curriculum.