National Native Children's Trauma Center


History of NNCTC
The National Native Children’s Trauma Center (NNCTC) is the result of a cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) under the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. The NNCTC is a Category II Treatment and Service Adaptation Center with the charge of providing national expertise on childhood trauma among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children with a particular focus on working with school communities across the United States.

The Center is affiliated with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and is housed within The University of Montana’s Institute for Educational Research and Service (IERS) in Missoula, Montana. NNCTC staff offer trainings and consultations to community agencies, tribal programs, clinicians, school personnel, technicians, and families on the impacts and prevention of childhood traumatic stress.

Our commitment is to:

  • Respect tribal sovereignty through all phases of program implementation
  • Respond to tribes’ identified community needs for raising the standard of care of children who are experiencing traumatic stress, loss, grief or bereavement
  • Follow the guidance of tribes in establishing a collaborative process to implement, adapt, and evaluate trauma interventions.

Approximately 1 in 4 children will experience a significant traumatic event by the age of 16. Research suggests that Native American youth are at a greater risk of trauma, depression,
and PTSD as a result of grief and exposure to violence. Most Native children possess strong resilience and do not develop traumatic stress symptoms. However, some need additional care.
When exposure to traumatic events occurs frequently, or when traumatic stress is left unaddressed, children are susceptible to:

  • Relationship problems
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Violent behavior
  • Suicide and depression
  • Lower grades, increased school suspensions, and dropout
  • Bullying and victimization

NNCTC believes:
In order for behaviorial health interventions to be effective, they must be:

  • Locally appropriate
  • Culturally relevant
  • Respectful of native wisdom
  • Integrated across agencies
  • Based on community awareness of the impacts and prevalence of
    traumatic stress
  • Interventions must be practical for use by community leaders, clinicians, teachers and family members.

NNCTC staff believe that culturally responsive childhood traumatic stress interventions are a vital component of comprehensive, community-based behavioral health programs for youth at risk.

Funding for this project (1 U79 SMO58145-01) was made possible (in part) by SM-06-005 cooperative agreement from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.