Two Feathers-NAFS 3-Year Strategic Plan

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Two Feathers Native American Family Services

Strategic Plan

December 2022

Table of Contents

Executive Summary ....................................................................................................................................... 2

Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 3

Background 3

The Need for Culturally-Based Interventions 7

Demonstrated Success 7

Summary of Impact to Date ...................................................................................................................... 9

Opportunity for Impact ............................................................................................................................... 11

Vision, Mission and Values .......................................................................................................................... 12

Strategic Goals 13

Reporting and Evaluation 16

Staffing ........................................................................................................................................................ 18

Financial implications .................................................................................................................................. 19

Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................... 20

Appendix A: Two Feathers’ Theory of Change 21

Appendix B: Two Feathers’ Impact Goal 22

Appendix C: Two Feathers’ Clinical Program Model ................................................................................... 23

Appendix D: Two Feathers’ Cultural Program Model ................................................................................. 24

Appendix E: Two Feathers’ Leadership Development Program Model ...................................................... 25

Appendix F: Two Feathers’ Community Building Activities and Events Program Model 26

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Executive Summary

Background

Two Feathers was established in 1998 to provide crisis intervention services to Native American children and families. Native American youth in Humboldt County experience high rates of mental health illness and suicide due to the enduring legacy of centuries of colonial practices that undermined and traumatized families, traditions, and culture. Two Feathers has proven itself an exemplary organization offering innovative mental health services that affirm Native cultural practices and strengthen relationships across generations, through mental health counseling, substance use treatment, and crisis intervention services focused on youth and their families, ages 8-19, in coordination with schools and partner organizations, to improve the health and wellbeing of the community. Equally important to Two Feathers’ impact has been the introduction of cultural programs, leadership development opportunities, and community events. Taken together, this body of work helps Two Feathers empower Native American youth to achieve their full potential by offering high quality culturally affirming mental health programs in Humboldt County.

Opportunity for Impact

Today Two Feathers is a national leader in Native mental health advancement through a blend of innovative approaches that center community building and cultural affirmation to address long standing mental health challenges in Two Feathers’ geographically isolated and economically challenged region.

To sustain and expand its successes throughout the coming 3-5 years, Two Feathers will deepen and expand its youth and community programs, and help other local Native youth-serving institutions promote wellness, community morale and pride, relationships, hope, and resiliency; as well as share lessons from its model and work with others in the mental health field across California and nationally.

As well, Two Feathers will expand the capacity of its operations staff, increasing the organization’s capacity to hire, train, and support Native mental health practitioners and emerging leaders; serve clients and manage records through MediCal and other public programs; and more.

Strategic Goals

Through a collaborative strategic planning process, Two Feathers has defined five goals that will enable it to promote Native wellness and hope for youth in Humboldt County over the next 3-5 years.

Goal #1: Through Two Feathers’ innovative approaches to culturally embedded, adaptive mental health and wellbeing support, help 300+ Native young people in Humboldt County progress towards greater resiliency, cultural connection, and self-determination; train 30 Native leaders and 25 allies; and reach 1,000 local community members

Goal #2: Capture, evaluate, and share Two Feathers’ lessons in order to influence mental health and social services practices, investment, and more

Goal #3: Strengthen staff training, support, and accountability, drawing from sector-wide best practices and from trauma informed client service provision

Goal #4: Develop scalable and sustainable organizational infrastructure, including financial and operational systems, structures, and practices to support successful programming

To achieve the above, Two Feathers will add 20 staff over the next three years and Two Feathers’ budget will grow from $4.2 to $5.6 million.

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Introduction

Background

Founded in 1998, Two Feathers Native American Family Services is a Tribal nonprofit that provides Native American mental health and wellness programming for children and families in Humboldt County. With a focus on children and adolescents, Two Feathers community members have access to a range of cultural activities, mental health resources, and programs. In 2022, Two Feathers had 26 staff and served 300 youth through its counseling, cultural, and youth development programs. In addition, Two Feathers reaches 1,000 community members annually through cultural activities and events year round.

Humboldt County, the area served by Two Feathers, is home to eight federally-recognized tribes and has the most Native Americans per capita in the state. Two Feathers focuses its service delivery on the regions of Humboldt County with a concentrated Native American population, like the Hoopa Valley (approximately 86% Native American), the Klamath region (home to the Yurok Tribe and Resighini Rancheria and approximately 31% Native American).

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Northwest California Indian Development Council, Local Northwest California Tribes

Native tribes existed as sovereign governments long before colonial settlement and westward expansion during California’s Gold Rush. 1 The Karuk, Hupa, Tolowa, Wiyot and Yurok tribes were the most prominent in Humboldt County. These tribes established their villages along rivers, lagoons, and coastal bays using coastal Redwood trees to build boats and houses. They were governed by wealthy and powerful lineage leaders and held elaborate ritual of life ceremonies each fall. The Native tribes of the region practice the annual World Renewal Ceremonies, such as the Karuk Pikyavish, the Tolowa Needash, the Hupa and Yurok White Deerskin Dance, and most Tribes perform the Sacred Jump Dance, many of which are considered to have connection with medicine. Native people from this region also excel in basketry, and the weaving and use of baskets has continued as a main element of the cultures of California tribes. 2

The United States government attempted to destroy Native nations and cultures through numerous and persistent federal efforts but failed due to the continued resistance of Native people. This included participating in religious ceremonies, cooking traditional foods, and refusing to leave their homeland. 3

Two Feathers’ services and comprehensive approach emerged in response to the acute mental health needs of Native Americans in Humboldt County, which are a lasting result of the historical and ongoing oppression experienced by Native American communities.

Humboldt County is a federally designated rural county and among California’s most secluded. It lies five hours north of San Francisco and spans over 1.5 million acres of mountainous, forested lands, bordered by the Pacific. Humboldt’s small towns are mostly connected by winding, two lane roads. Transportation is challenging due to inclement weather, mud/rock slides, few bus lines, and unreliable personal vehicles.

High rates of suicide and substance use are rooted in White Supremacist policy and practice, and also influenced by regional isolation and limited economic opportunities.

The Gold Rush of 1849 brought an influx of settlers to Northern California and with it a host of policies detrimental to Native peoples. 4 During this period, California passed laws that legalized the enslavement of California Indians, gave white citizens rights to own Indian children, and subsidized a California Volunteer Militia to carry out the massacre of Indian villages and murder of Indian peoples. The Act for the Government and Protection of Indians (1850) enabled white settlers to force Native people from their lands into indentured servitude. 5 The law gave white people the right to arrest Native people for loitering or possessing alcohol and to put Native Americans convicted of crimes to work to pay off the fines they incurred. The law was widely abused and led to the enslavement of tens of thousands of Native Americans. Unbridled violence and abuse led to the Wiyot Massacre of 1860 which saw the

1 Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation

2

Northern California Indian Development Council; California Native American Heritage Commission

3 Cathleen Hill, Tales of Subversion, North Coast Journal

4 Cook, S. F. (1976), The conflict between the California Indian and White Civilization, University of California Press

5 Madley, B. (2016), An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846- 1873, Yale University Press; Jean Pfaelzer, The “Outing Programs” Human Trafficking at California’s Native American Boarding Schools; ACLU of Northern California, Indian Boarding Schools; Kimberly Johnston Dodds, Early California Laws and Policies Related to California Indians

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murder of several hundred Native people by White settlers. 6

In the Big Lagoon coastal area, mining led to the destruction of villages, homes, and access to food and water. 7 During the Gold Rush, miners brought equipment through Trinidad Bay and transported it on mule trains tearing through Native homes and villages in their path to the Klamath River. Miners also took possession of a creek that local people used, preventing them from growing food, and accessing water.

In Humboldt, and elsewhere across the US, federal and state policy focused on assimilation of Native American children and families through programs like boarding schools that forcibly removed children from their families and homes, forced them to cut their hair and change their names, and forbid them from speaking their language or practicing their culture.

The legacy of this history is experienced today as literal disconnection – from self, family, community, spirituality – that manifests as adverse childhood experiences, adult trauma, alcoholism, suicidality, and more. 8

Of all ethnic/racial groups in the county, Native Americans experience some of the highest suicide rates. In 2018, the Native American suicide rate in Humboldt was 26.2 per 100,000 – nearly three times the state average. Risk factors for suicide include hopelessness, depression, isolation, inadequate community connectedness, prior history of mental illness or substance abuse, access to firearms and drugs, unemployment, and economic instability. Protective factors include family cohesion and supportive relationships. 9

6 Jerry Rohde, Genocide and Extortion, North Coast Journal; Joan Crandell (2005), The Indian Island Massacre

7 Northwest Indigenous Gold Rush History: The Indian Survivors of California's Holocaust 8 Gone, J. P., Hartmann, W. E., Pomerville, A., Wendt, D. C., Klem, S. H., & Burrage, R. L. (2019), “The impact of historical trauma on health outcomes for indigenous populations in the USA and Canada: A systematic review” American Psychologist

9 2018 Humboldt County Community Health Assessment; Humboldt County Mortality Report (2005-2021)

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Humboldt County Alcohol Induced Mortality Data Report, 2005-2018

Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District serves 1,000 youth and is located at the epicenter of the suicide crisis in Humboldt County. A 2016 NIH study showed that among KT’s over 800 Native American students, substance use is rife among 7th & 8th grade students, with high rates of alcohol (17.1%), marijuana (18.6%), cigarette (11.4%), and inhalant (10%) use. 10 In the 2018 California Healthy Kids Survey, in Northern Humboldt high schools (1,700 youth), over 40% of 9th and 11th graders reported “current” use of drugs and alcohol, 29% of 11th graders reported “binge” drinking, and 73% reported using “illicit” drugs.

The county’s dark history of White Supremacy and regional isolation are compounded by limited economic opportunities for Native American communities. Unemployment and barriers to economic opportunity are significant. In predominantly tribal areas, unemployment was estimated as high as 60% during the COVID pandemic. 11 Poverty is also widespread. In Hoopa Valley, home of the Hoopa tribe, 34.3% of the residents live below the federal poverty level. 12

Economic and social hardships are also reflected in limited educational opportunities for Native American youth and stark disparities in educational attainment. Native American students face higher rates of exclusionary discipline, chronic absenteeism, and lower academic outcomes than their non Native peers. Native American students in Humboldt County experience suspension rates five times the state average for white students and experience chronic absenteeism at more than double the rate of all students throughout the state. 13 The rates of college and career readiness for Native American youth pale in comparison to other groups, which reinforce economic and social challenges.

Geographic and economic hardships, as well as limited educational opportunities contribute to depression, isolation, and feelings of hopelessness for Native American youth and families in Humboldt County, which exacerbate generational trauma borne from family separation, forced cultural assimilation, and violence directed at youth. Many Native American youth experience profound mental health and substance abuse crises due to historical and ongoing trauma, grief and loss, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse.

10 Drug and Alcohol Use Among Hoopa Valley Elementary School 7th-8th Graders Fall 2016. Colorado State University, Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research. NIDA Grant #R01 DA003371.

11 Northern California Indian Development Council Community Needs Assessment 2021

12 United States Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2020, Hoopa Valley Reservation

13 ACLU Northern California, Failing Grade: The Status of Native American Education in Humboldt County

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The Need for Culturally-Based Interventions

Since 2015, Native American communities in Humboldt have redoubled their responses to this suicide crisis. Tribal-based agencies such as Untied Indian Health Services (Arcata, CA) have increased the range of trainings offered; trainings now include Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), Applied Suicide Interventions Skills Trainings (ASIST), and Native H.O.P.E. annually.

While training and outreach efforts have increased, numerous community leaders and county data underscore the need for additional, innovative engagement strategies (especially culturally-based mental health services and providers), as well as more intensive behavioral health services for Native children and families who struggle with deeply entrenched patterns of mental illness and substance use. Although awareness and referrals have increased, there is a major lack of service providers to offer ongoing care to referred youth— particularly in the schools.

Worse still, the few services that are available are often not Native focused, culturally appropriate or long term, which limits their effectiveness.

For Native American people, especially children and youth, there is a need to recover from federal and state policies and Supremacist practices that disallowed cultural practices and forced assimilation, separation of families and genocide in its place. This makes culturally affirming practices that strengthen bonds between generations especially important. In addition to counseling, Native American cultural practices and community support are positive measures that can address issues of self-esteem, poverty, school performance, and resilient adaptation in adverse situations.

Demonstrated Success

Two Feathers is at the forefront of providing comprehensive and culturally informed mental health services to Humboldt area Native youth and their families; these include traditional mental health and substance counseling tailored to meet the unique needs of regionally isolated communities, with the time required to build deep rapport, plus the flexibility to meet clients where they are, both in terms of location, as well as readiness to begin services. Two Feathers accomplishes this by working with schools and traveling to meet clients in remote areas, as well as through a series of

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Northwest California Indian Development Council, Failing Grade: The Status of Native American Education in Humboldt County

programs that engage youth based on their particular interests, which include cultural programs, leadership development and paid work experience, and events and activities open to the wider community which provide opportunities for youth and families to learn about Two Feathers and build trust with their staff over time. Participation in community activities and events often serves as a first step to engage with Two Feathers and precedes client referrals for direct services.

Partners underscore the important role Two Feathers plays in helping Native youth overcome cycles of substance abuse and intergenerational trauma by providing an approach that integrates cultural programming with clinical counseling, to support youth wellbeing and relationships with their families and community.

“The vision is that you break these intergenerational cycles of substance abuse, domestic violence, social determinants of health, foster care. You start with some kids, and make them have a different experience, opportunities and environment. And perhaps their children won’t experience the same. It’s a long term life process… It took 150 years to colonize our people, it’s gonna take that much time to be better, to heal our people” - Community member

“One thing I appreciate about TF’s evolution is that they have been working hard to fill significant gaps in and around children's mental health. That has been severely lacking in the region for a long time” - Community member

“They provide cultural programs and appropriate interventions, but we don't have to call it that… that is just how they naturally show up in community and they are responsive to quickly moving community needs” - Community member

Two Feathers’ approach to providing mental health services, cultural programming, leadership development, and community engagement in Native communities has proven effective in meeting local needs and serves as a model for other Native-serving youth organizations nationwide.

Two Feathers’ programs have historically included individual counseling, youth prevention, and crisis intervention. Chekws family services provided individual and group mental health therapy and substance use counseling for youth and adults, intensive case management, and crisis intervention. Youth Prevention Programming offered cultural-based mentorship, culturally-based youth wellness activities. Hewech survivor advocacy programming included emergency shelter and referrals to victim support services. All of these programs centered (re)connection to cultural knowledges and teachings as a crucial component of indigenous wellness.

In the last couple of years, Two Feathers has increased youth programming with an emphasis on youth advocacy, cultural programming, leadership development, and youth employment. In 2021, Two Feathers began the first ever LGBTQ+ youth group on the Hoopa Valley reservation in response to requests from youth. That same year, Two Feathers piloted a youth ambassador program, employing Native youth to provide peer support to other students. Two Feathers leadership prioritizes listening to

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youth to drive services provided, and have found this leads to greater opportunity to engage multistressed youth by providing services that youth want and need.

Summary of Impact to Date

Over the past 25 years, Two Feathers has supported youth undergoing crisis, increased connections, strengthened relationships and trust, and helped build the resilience and health of Native families in Humboldt County.

Community members, partners, and funders hold Two Feathers in high esteem for its rare ability and commitment to reach and support Native youth, especially those in very hard to reach communities, by providing exceptional direct services and advocating for community needs.

“They are amazing. They do important [work] with the most high need kids… They are so creative with bridging culture, suicide prevention and substance abuse prevention. They are building resiliency, which is what the research says [is critical] for Native youth. Forget about working on reducing depression, it's about building resiliency, connecting to culture. They really are doing that” - Partner

“I see them helping the healing process, within the American Indian community. I see their work with individuals, but I also see the community level of work they do to bring individuals together… Native Americans care a lot about community involvement and family, and [TF] brings community and family together” - Funder

“There are a lot of barriers… to access services... We have clinicians spending a week in their car driving all over the place. That speaks to our creativity and our flexibility in how services are delivered” - Staff member

Partners describe Two Feathers’ services among the best regionally and nationally. Staff have built trusting relationships throughout the community via deep commitment and holistic, flexible, culturally responsive approaches to well-being and resilience.

“I don’t know of another program that does as much outreach as TF. Nor do I know of another program who tries to educate the school based on mental health activities, who is bringing together those professionals in the school to enlighten them about Native American ways, or what trauma is or historical trauma. I don’t see that in other organizations” - Funder

“Their services are core, really important. But they also have this other area of influence in the community. They seem to be really powerful at raising the voice of youth and are influencing

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school districts. In that way that feels powerful. Youth feels more seen” - Community member

“It'd be reasonable to say we have touched 600-700 kids in the last 3 to 4 years” - Staff member; per Census data, that number could represent ~40% of Native youth in the county

“TF has so much community trust, it’s unheard of. There is less of a sense of threat, and more trust at TF. We provide the community with opportunities to do soft meetings, so it’s not just ‘hey I’m so and so, I’m your therapist now,’ it’s: ‘Oh hey I saw you when we had one of our million events at tree planting or peace night.’ Having those opportunities to meet and build trust, and get exposed to youth and families helps with rapport” - Staff member

Funders and staff find that Two Feathers seems uniquely positioned to change broader public and social service systems (e.g., schools, care providers) by modeling quality approaches to service provision and programming.

“As a Native organization, to say hey – we could be leaders in mental health. We don’t have to follow. The county could follow us! We could be creative, have better outcomes, better systems – we can raise our expectations. We could be a model program not just for Natives, but for all” - Staff member

“They have flexibility and ability to develop something new. [TF’s] impact could be to break the cycle of trauma [from one generation to the next]” - Funder

“They have a model that could be used in other places... not only in other areas or communities for American Indians, but for any underserved minority group” - Funder

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Opportunity for Impact

Two Feathers Native American Family Services is unmatched as a Native serving mental health organization and widely respected. Community members, partners, and funders hold Two Feathers in high esteem for its rare ability and commitment to reach and support Native youth, especially those in very hard to reach communities, by providing exceptional, direct services and advocating for community needs.

“[The TF] team has become the premiere Native youth mental health program in the state… Lots of people in California and different states know who Virgil is. [More providers are] thinking about Native American youth needs” - Partner

Two Feathers blends research and culturally-based, highly relational and customized approaches to local youth and community needs and interests, removing traditional barriers (e.g., cultural relevance, stigma, lack of trust, long distance) to mental health services, education, and more. Two Feathers counseling & prevention services are cited among the “best” regionally, and nationally. Staff have built trusting relationships throughout the community via deep commitment and holistic, flexible, culturally responsive approaches to well-being and resilience.

In addition to its direct impact, partners and community members affirm that Two Feathers is poised to use its unique and powerful voice to transform predominant service models for Native youth mental health, with potential implications for other underserved youth and communities, and for social and health services writ large.

As Two Feathers expands its reach and service offerings, there is an opportunity for greater clarity, consistency, and capacity, as it relates to aligning programming and staff roles and responsibilities, as well as management systems and processes. Two Feathers’ program successes have resulted in significant increases in funding and rapid organizational growth. Compounded by rising demand for services, organizational growth brings naturally expected challenges to internal systems and culture, and requires staff alignment of expectations with capacity, improved communications, and teamwork. To ensure rewarding experiences for participants and staff, Two Feathers has an opportunity to better balance expansion, flexibility and responsiveness – with greater clarity about program direction and approach, consistency, and capacity requirements. This includes a greater investment in management training, talent development, and the infrastructure for data collection to measure program effectiveness.

Two Feathers has experienced extraordinary growth, opening opportunities to grow reserve funding to build organizational resilience. Two Feathers has been remarkably successful with fundraising, building a solid base of support for programmatic work. Still, there is an ongoing need to align on priorities for seeking grant opportunities, and to focus on revenue diversification (approximately 73% of Two Feathers grants come from a few government sources; possibility to grow and diversify foundation funding, explore added fee for service revenue, especially additional funding through MediCal and other sources).

To carry out its work, Two Feathers will focus on the following strategic goals.

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Vision, Mission and Values

Thanks to the work of staff, partners, and funders, Two Feathers is poised to build on its impact to date, and cement its status as the premier organization serving Native American youth in Humboldt County.

Two Feathers has expanded its previous scope from crisis intervention to one that is asset based and provides counseling, cultural programs, leadership development, and community events and activities to improve the wellbeing and self-determination of Native American youth in Humboldt County.

In recognition of this sharpened scope and refined ambition for impact, Two Feathers has espoused the following North Star to guide its work:

Vision: Two Feathers envisions a world filled with love and in balance within ourselves and with all of creation for generations to come.

Mission: To empower Native American youth and their families to achieve their full potential by offering culturally-affirming mental health and wellness programs in Humboldt County.

Values:

● Creating Communities of Kinship - We center positive relationships as our highest priority

● Honoring Native Teachings - We are committed to centering the profound cultural practices of local Native people in our programs

● Uplifting Diverse Cultures - We value differences in class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities which are at the heart of our commitment to advancing equity and justice

● Aspiring to Continual Learning - We view challenges as opportunities to adapt and innovate toward excellence

● Welcoming Joy and Laughter - We enjoy fun and laughter which connects us and brings joy to our work

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Strategic Goals

Two Feathers has identified a core set of strategic goals for the next 3-5 years to ensure it continues to meet the needs of Native youth and families by helping to build relationships, wellness, cultural pride, and self determination, as well as helping develop the community’s capacity and systems to better serve Native youth and families.

➢ Goal #1: Through Two Feathers’ innovative approaches to culturally embedded, adaptive mental health and wellbeing support, help 300+ Native young people in Humboldt County progress towards greater resiliency, cultural connection, and self-determination; train 30 Native leaders and 25 allies; and reach 1,000 local community members.

In 2022, as part of its strategic plan, Two Feathers began codifying its approaches to the following four programs.

• Clinical Program: Two Feathers will deliver mental health services to Native American youth ages 10-18 to build positive self identities, enhancing connection to clients’ culture and community. Two Feathers clinical program prioritizes relationship building with a focus on oneon-one counseling in schools. Over the past several years, Two Feathers has developed partnerships with Klamath Trinity Joint Unified School District, Big Lagoon Elementary, Trinidad Elementary, Northern Humboldt Union School District, McKinleyville Middle School, Fortuna High School, Eureka Community School, Blue Lake Elementary School, Loleta Elementary, Rio Dell Elementary and Margaret Keating Elementary. At all of these schools, Two Feathers places mental health counselors to work with Native students. Services offered include screening, early intervention, treatment, recovery support, telemedicine psychiatric services and postvention services.

• Cultural Program: Two Feathers will deliver cultural programs to Native American youth ages 819 to strengthen participants’ cultural identity leading to hope and self efficacy. Two Feathers’ cultural programming includes the culturally based ACORN curriculum, culturally based school groups, as well as cultural navigation and support. Two Feathers’ ACORN wellness program promotes physical and psychological wellness by guiding youth through two ancestral practices that affirm Native culture. The Two Feathers Stick Game & Flower Dance aim to reconnect Native American youth to traditional cultural practices that positively impact hope for the future, mitigate historical loss and grief, improve mental health and increase health and wellness by improving family relationships, building community and strengthening intertribal connections and partnerships. These original ancestral Tribal practices were practiced prior to European contact and provide the community with a source of strength and positive cultural identity.

• Leadership Development and Advocacy Program: Two Feathers will provide community leadership opportunities to Native American youth ages 14-24 to promote Native American youth skill development, connection, as well as advocacy for community mental health. Two Feathers’ leadership development programming includes a Youth Ambassadors program and work pods, an intergenerational youth employment program that supports Native American youth (14-18) and Transition Aged Youth (19-25) in developing leadership and advocacy skills, with a focus on multi-stressed youth. Two Feathers’ work pods offer paid opportunities to engage in community activities while expanding connection to cultural learning and knowledge,

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and creating a space to advocate for community mental health needs. Youth Ambassadors develop professional skills including time management, punctuality, communication, and performance improvement. The program also offers youth an opportunity to identify interests and passions to better direct future careers. Youth Ambassadors help the community in preparing for cultural events related to the ACORN program. Leadership development activities also include advocacy at the local level.

• Community Building Activities and Events Program: Two Feathers will organize community events and activities to provide representation and visibility of Native joy and wellness to counter indigenous erasure; improve participant, community, and staff morale; create opportunities for youth, community, and staff to be celebrated and affirmed; and connect participants to TF services and respond to community needs. Two Feathers offers ongoing events and programming for the broader Humboldt community in a culturally affirming way. Community building events raise visibility of Native American joy and elevate staff and community morale. In addition, they provide an opportunity for community members to learn about Two Feathers’ services. Events serve as a space for youth and families to meet Two Feathers’ staff and program participants, build supportive relationships, and encourage participation depending on level of need. Events are often a first point of entry for families who may refer youth to clinical, cultural, and leadership development programs.

In support of its community impact goal, Two Feathers is pursuing the following organizational goals and outcomes:

➢ Goal #2: Capture, evaluate, and share Two Feathers’ lessons to influence Native mental health and social service practices, investment, and more

Services and programming will have a demonstrable effect on youth wellbeing (life outcomes, resilience, belonging) and will contribute to greater community cohesion

Two Feathers will have the data and analysis to demonstrate the impact of its Nativeled, culturally-embedded approaches to mental health services provision (and community wellbeing)

There will be increasing support across the mental health and social services sectors in Humboldt County for culturally-embedded, adaptive mental health provision for Native youth due to Two Feathers modeling and advocacy

Goal #3: Strengthen staff training, support, and accountability, drawing from sector-wide best practices and from trauma informed client service provision

Staff will be supported, better trained, have workloads that are aligned with their capacity, and will be better prepared to lead (at Two Feathers and beyond)

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➢ Goal #4: Develop scalable and sustainable organizational infrastructure, including financial and operational systems, structures, and practices to support successful programming

Two Feathers will have the financial and operational systems to effectively support its work and funding aligned with organizational strategy

Two Feathers will build the staff capacity necessary to carry out its program and operational work, including strong managers to support staff in delivering on Two Feathers’ mission

The executive team will have the program data, staff support, and strategic clarity to plan for the future

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Two Feathers Native American
Plan;

Reporting and Evaluation

Because of its focus on direct services, Two Feathers has historically relied on external evaluators to measure program success. Going forward, Two Feathers aims to expand its capacity in data collection and program assessment, to measure the effectiveness of its services in an ongoing way. This will allow Two Feathers to build and iterate its program model, and expand its impact by sharing findings with other organizations interested in drawing from their lessons to improve their effectiveness with Native youth.

Two Feathers will measure individual outcomes for clients as well as community impact. Measures may include interviews, surveys, focus groups, observation, client tracking, review of case plans, attendance and participation, social media engagement, and referrals to services.

Program Outcomes Measure

Clinical Program

● Interviews

● (For youth ages 8-9) stronger family attachment; youth are better supported and more resilient

● (For youth ages 10-18) build trust and intimacy with others, show improved crisis management

● (For youth ages 19-25) lower risk taking; develop increased life skills and improved health

Cultural Program (For youth ages 8-19):

● Increased resiliency; decreased developmental trauma symptoms

● Improved relationships

● Increased sense of hope

● Increased ability to work towards community change

● Surveys

● Focus groups

● Observation

● Client tracking

● Review of case plans

Leadership Development and Advocacy

(For youth ages 14-24):

● Improved leadership and work skills, connections, wellness

● Increased access to work opportunities (e.g., become Two Feathers employees, attend college/trade school, secure and thrive in careers)

● Interviews

● Surveys

● Focus groups

● Observation

● Client tracking

● Cultural connectedness scale

● Child/youth resilience measure

● Cultural values survey

● Interviews

● Surveys

● Focus groups

● Observation

● Client tracking

● Participant evaluation survey

● Exit interviews

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Community Building Activities and Events

(For Native & non-Native Humboldt residents)

● Increased Native representation, visibility, countering indigenous erasure and negative stereotypes

● Improving community, participant and staff morale and pride

● High community and partner engagement and participation; increased community relationships with Two Feathers

● Referrals into Two Feathers programs

● Increased Two Feathers’ reputation and profile

● Perception interviews, focus groups, surveys (How is TF regarded? What impacts from community events?)

● Event participant tracking

● Referrals to TF services

● Social media engagement

● Partner engagement

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Staffing

Over the next three years, Two Feathers will expand its program and operations staff. The key areas for staffing over the next 3 years include clinical programs, cultural programs, leadership development and advocacy, community events, and administration and operations.

The process has already begun with the addition of a grants and contracts administrator, an intake coordinator, and an administrative assistant. These positions will help Two Feathers as it looks to catch up to the growth of their programming.

Staffing Plans: Projected Hires (2022-2025)

2022

● Clinical Supervisor

● Compliance Specialist

● Behavioral Health Clinicians

● Work Pod Leader/Support

● Leadership Development Lead

● Receptionist/Junior Bookkeeper

2023

● Behavioral Health Clinicians

● Cultural Project Manager

● Coastal Cultural Navigator

● Work Pod Leader/Support

● Leadership Development Lead

● Events and Communications Manager

2024

● Behavioral Health Clinicians

● Eastern Cultural Navigator

● Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

● Leadership Development Lead

2025

● Behavioral Health Clinicians

● Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator

● Leadership Development Lead

Two Feathers Native American Family Services Strategic Plan; December 2022 18

Financial implications

In order to support its continued impact, Two Feathers’ budget will grow by approximately 38% over the next four years to accommodate expanded service provision, well-trained and supported staff, and improved internal systems.

Two
Native American Family Services Strategic Plan; December 2022 19
Feathers

Conclusion

Since its inception in 1998, Two Feathers has led the way in providing innovative mental health services, meeting the needs of Native American youth and families in Humboldt County, and has become a model to follow for other organizations serving Native American youth. Two Feathers’ blend of counseling, cultural programs, youth development, and community events provide participants with multiple opportunities to build relationships with staff, peers, and family, and develop wellness.

Over the next 3-5 years, Two Feathers seeks to help 300 Native young people in Humboldt County progress towards greater resiliency, cultural connection, self-determination by providing innovative mental health, cultural, and leadership development programs. In addition, Two Feathers plans to develop 30 Native leaders and 50 allies at the community level, and reach 1,000 community members through activities and events.

By investing in efforts to expand Two Feathers’ organizational capacity to match its growth, and clarifying its model to better track results and share with the wider public, Two Feathers will be positioned for greater sustainability and impact for the foreseeable future. This will allow staff to be better supported and continue delivering the quality programs they have become so well known for, continue to meet acute mental health needs in the community, and reframe the organization’s vision from one focused on crisis intervention to one centered on greater wellness and self-determination at the individual level, and the development of more Native leaders, better systems, and greater joy and cultural pride at the community level.

Two Feathers Native American Family Services Strategic Plan; December 2022 20

Appendix A: Two Feathers’ Theory of Change

Services Strategic
December 2022 21
Two
Feathers
Native American Family
Plan;

Appendix B: Two Feathers’ Impact Goal

Services Strategic
December 2022 22
Two
Feathers
Native American Family
Plan;

Appendix C: Two Feathers’ Clinical Program Model

Services Strategic
December 2022 23
Two
Feathers Native American
Family
Plan;

Appendix D: Two Feathers’ Cultural Program Model

Services Strategic
December 2022 24
Two
Feathers
Native American Family
Plan;

Appendix E: Two Feathers’ Leadership Development Program Model

25

Appendix F: Two Feathers’ Community Building Activities and Events Program Model

26
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