Project Title: Native Spirit: Culturally Grounded Substance Use Prevention for Indigenous Adolescents
Position: Postdoctoral Scholar
Institution: Northern Arizona University
Funding NIH Institute/Center: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Grant ID: K99DA056842
Amanda M. Hunter is a proud citizen of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. Her interest in public health research ignited after working in the medical field and recognizing the great need for prevention of chronic disease that often brought patients into the office and pharmacy. Dr. Hunter received her MPH and PhD in health behavior and health promotion from the University of Arizona. She’s currently a postdoctoral researcher at Northern Arizona University’s Center for Health Equity Research. Since 2015, she has worked with Indigenous communities in Arizona to develop, implement, and evaluate a culturally grounded after-school program. The program aims to strengthen cultural identity, self-esteem, and resilience while decreasing substance use in Indigenous youth. As an Indigenous person, Dr. Hunter is deeply invested in the advancement of Indigenous peoples and unable to separate her identity from her work. For this reason, all of her research, service, work experience, and teaching has centered around health promotion and disease prevention for Indigenous communities. Any future funding she receives will go toward Indigenous students at various education and community members to guide research priorities and to serve as community researchers.