This study examines the origins, structure, and function of a youth organization in a remote Alaskan village in Western Alaska. The contribution of this study is to provide a detailed description of one of the few indigenously created organizations in American Indian and Alaska Native communities that functions as a primary prevention program. The author found that the activities of Chevak Village Youth Association (CVYA) serve a number of functions including educational, social, recreational, community service, and economic. In the course of planning, organizing, and putting on events, village youth assume significant responsibility. These responsibilities contribute to their skill in locating and using resources and to their sense of competency. The activities that the organization sponsors are, moreover, vital to the social and recreational life of the community, providing relief from stress and alternatives to substance abuse. While there is no evidence that the youth organization has actually reduced the incidence of mental health diseases or disorders, it is clear that the organization is an important element in the organizational nexus of the village, which serves to increase the competency and sense of efficacy of the community as a whole. Such effects are the goals of primary prevention.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 1596.