Native Dads Network (NDN) is a non-for-profit grassroots organization established to address multiple challenges being faced by indigenous / native communities living in Northern California and nearby areas. While NDN serves men, women, children - youth, and the aging, one of the priorities of NDN is to support native men to become better fathers, husbands, and citizens while strengthening the whole family constellation. As an organization, we have witnessed, personally and professionally, the importance of promoting services that are culturally and linguistically sensitive in order to promote the healing and strengthen the wellness of indigenous / native communities that have often been isolated, dismissed, marginalized, and mistreated.
Services organized by NDN are delivered by professional and cultural facilitators indigenousness / natives roots who are walking the Red Road (a modern term used to identify a path inspired by fundamental life beliefs promoted by a variety of Native American spiritual teachings). Services have ranged from annual conferences promoting awareness of diverse issues faced by indigenous / native communities (i.e., domestic violence and mental health, addiction, boys be bullied due cultural practice – “Boys with Braids”); annual weekend men’s and family gathering retreats – “Returning the Warrior Spirit Men’s Wellness Gathering;” "Strengthening the Family Spirit Gathering" and weekly supportive – educational groups – “Fatherhood – Motherhood is Sacred”). Adding online live social media feeds and private workshops to the community "Men's Wellness Speaker Series;" "Women's Wellness Speaker Series;" and private online workshops "Women's Talking Circle" and "Addressing Family Violence and Abuse For Men."
While working with fathers and families, NDN has assisted participants to address and overcome disturbing challenges interfering with their optimal well-being. These challenges include, but are not limited to: poor educational achievements; poverty issues (i.e., health and malnutrition) and unemployment; homelessness; dealing with and preventing sexually transmitted diseases; family violence; alcoholism and/or drug addictions; juvenile delinquency; teen pregnancy; loss and grief issues including those cause by a divorce or death of a loved one; lack of transportation; mental health issues; along with many others. While much success has been observed in these areas, the aforementioned challenges are yet to be totally eliminated.
Becoming a 501(c)3 non-for-profit organization on September 2014 marked the on-going commitment of NDN to continue to expand its services and develop partnerships with diverse funding sources as well as community social / health service providers. NDN’s services have been financially and technologically supported by a number of sponsors, private individual donors, and funding sources (i.e., California Endowment, Native Voices Rising, 7GenFund, Ione Band of Miwok, Buena Vista Band of Miwoks; Coyote Valley Indian Reservation; Pinoleville Pomo Nation; Wilton Rancheria; The California Mental Health Services Authority – CalMHSA, Each Mind Matters).