Oso Vista Ranch project offers a variety of culturally competent empowerment programs for the Ramah Navajo other Native American communities.

Organizational mission, purpose and brief statement of goals

The Oso Vista Ranch project’s purpose is to provide culturally-based substance abuse prevention, youth development, cultural identity and financial literacy programs for the Ramah Navajo and other Native American Communities. We believe that Cultural Identity + Behavioral Health Support + Financial Sustainability equal Empowerment for Native Communities.

The foundation for the Oso Vista Ranch Project model is cultural competency. Our goal is to empower Native American communities by providing them with tools, strategies, programs and systems based in their cultural and historical understandings. This enables them to see their uniqueness, have hope and take responsibility for their lives, thus making healthy choices for themselves, their families and their community.

Spero M. Manson, Ph.D.This approach exemplifies the best practices outlined by Health Science Center Spero Manson (Medical Anthropologist and Professor of Psychiatry who heads the American Indian and Alaska Native Programs at the University of Colorado at Denver). Spero, Pembina Chippewa affiliated, states that,

There is now a movement to shift away from conventional counseling and move in the direction of culturally sensitive mental health approaches that integrate American Indian cultural values into treatment to better interface with the Indian patient population.”

Spero states that what matters most for American Indian populations is to increase American Indian Identity and decrease structural poverty. The result, he says, will be a decrease in the probability of alcohol symptoms and drug use.

Our belief is further supported by the Best Practices on Indigenous Knowledge, created by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations and the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation.

This best practice research states that in order for rural indigenous communities to address poverty and social exclusion issues all programs must first value the indigenous knowledge which is embedded in the community.

The foundation for the Oso Vista Ranch Project model is cultural competency. Our goal is to empower this Navajo community by providing them with tools, strategies, programs and systems based in their cultural and historical understandings.

This enables them to see their uniqueness, have hope and take responsibility for their lives, thus making healthy choices for themselves, their families and their community.