The diverse American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) population suffers health inequities perpetuated by colonialism and post-colonialism. The urban AI/AN population is steadily increasing in part because of federal policies relocating AI/AN away from tribal lands. However, studies of AI/AN urban communities are rare, and efforts to understand and ameliorate health inequities in AI/AN communities typically emphasize deficits rather than capacities. Resilience is an important resource in this context but mainstream, rather than community-derived definitions of resilience, predominate. The present study used multi-investigator consensus analysis in a qualitative study to identify urban American Indian (AI) derived concepts and construct a definition of resilience. The study included 25 AI adults in four focus groups in three urban locales in the southwestern United States. Four resilience themes emerged: 1) AIs built strength through toughness and wisdom; 2) the value of traditional ‘lifeways’ (i.e., elements of traditional culture that help people navigate their journey through life); 3) the importance of giving and receiving help; and 4) the interconnectedness of Native lifeways, family relationships, and tribal and urban communities. Themes overlap with extant resilience conceptualizations but also provide unique insights into structure and function of urban AI resilience in the Southwest United States.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||29|
|Journal||American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research|
|State||Published - 2023|
ASJC Scopus subject areas