U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Culturally Responsive Pathways to Peer Programming in Tribal Communities

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2023
30 pages

This document discusses the importance of incorporating culture into peer recovery support services as well as some best practices for the development of PRSS for American Indian/Alaska Native populations.


This document makes the case for peer recovery support services (PRSS), or peer-based recovery supports (P-BRS), as a key intervention for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities and individuals as they address high rates of substance use with limited resources; it cites studies that have been conducted to demonstrate the efficacy of P-BRSS and identify gaps in services for addressing substance use, stating that PRSS has been shown to decrease substance use, increase rates of recovery, increase community involvement, and increase the identification and sustained utilization of social support. This publication provides an in-depth look at the importance of incorporating culture into PRSS), and best practices for the development of PRSS for AI/AN populations; it also discusses the history of PRSS in AI/AN tribal communities. The document highlights the role of peer practitioners in tribal settings across the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM), provides an alternative conceptualization of the SIM, and provides examples of peer support programs currently being implemented and expanded on throughout the U.S.; and explores two evidence-based practice (EBP) models of substance use intervention that include a peer support component: the White Bison Program and Circle Peacemaking.

Date Published: September 1, 2023