Indigenizing Crisis Intervention Teams in Indian Country

With our Host Planning Teams in Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Rapid City and Minneapolis and with individuals in several other Indigenous communities around the country, the Barbara Schneider Foundation (BSF) is working to improve crisis response, prevent crisis, and to support recovery and wellness in  Indigenous communities.

Nationally, BSF provides de-escalation training in the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model, which promotes partnerships among the three core elements of Public Safety, Mental Health, and Community Advocacy. The training focuses on assisting individuals with mental illness and improving the safety of patrol officers and other responders, consumers, family members, and community members.

The nexus where the three core elements or circles of partnership overlap provides the vital space in which BSF conducts its four-part Community Conversations series – respectively titled Discovery, Dream, Design, and Destiny. Incorporating methods of Appreciative Inquiry dialogue into our CIT work, BSF facilitates dialogue about what gives life to human systems when they function at their best. It is based on the assumption that questions and dialogue about strengths, successes, values, hopes, and dreams are transformational. It suggests that successful human organizing and change is a relational process of inquiry.

These are examples of the Community Innovation Teams that have emerged from this process:

Cross Cultural Communication – Working to increase cultural understanding and shared community experiences between Natives and non-Natives.

Healing & Transformation – Working to bring diversity of approach and increased compassion to community wellness efforts.

Mitakuye Oyasin – Working to spread the concept that we are all related, that all humans, animals, plants, earth, and sky share this universe.

Technology – Working to keep our Community Conversation participants, teams and leaders connected, informed and engaged through email and social media.

Wasuyapi – Working to support efforts to reduce incarceration for non-violent offenders and to provide assistance for the Native community involved with law enforcement.

Here are some media links that help tell the story:

Lakota Nation Invitational Conversation

Rapid City Community Conversations Website

jan.19     Invitation to Pine Ridge Community Conversation

Rapid City Community Conversations Facebook Page