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Tribal Action Plan (TAP)

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Programs and resources are available to help tribes create a TAP for addressing substance use disorders in their communities.

SAMHSA is required under the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) of 2010 to lead efforts to coordinate existing federal resources and those established under the TLOA designed to combat alcohol and substance abuse in tribal communities. SAMHSA works with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to assist American Indian and Alaska Native communities in achieving their goals in prevention, intervention, and treatment of alcohol and substance abuse.

What is a Tribal Action Plan?

The Tribal Action Plan (TAP) coordinates resources and programs to help tribes achieve their goals for preventing, treating, and recovering from substance use disorders.

TAPs are designed to help communities:

  • Assess the scope of a tribe’s alcohol and drug use problems
  • Identify and direct available resources and programs toward prevention and treatment
  • Establish and prioritize goals and efforts to meet those goals
  • Identify the roles of community stakeholders and family members in addressing community concerns

TAP Workgroups and Guidelines

In conformity with a Memorandum of Agreement between HHS, DOI, and DOJ (PDF | 2.6 MB), SAMHSA established the Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee, which includes workgroups to carry out its mission.

The TAP workgroup responds to tribal requests for technical assistance in TAP development, providing support where feasible. The Inventory/Resources workgroup is tasked with preparing and making available a list of national, state, tribal, and local behavioral health programs and resources to help tribes develop a tribal action plan (TAP). The Inventory/Resources workgroup, in collaboration with the Native Youth Educational Services workgroup and other related workgroups, also provides resources for Programs for Native Youth.

The TAP workgroup of the Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee in 2011 published the Tribal Action Plan Guidelines (PDF | 411 KB). The guidelines offer:

Tribes should send their tribal resolutions to the Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse (OIASA), which will then coordinate with the appropriate interdepartmental coordinating committee workgroups on your TAP.

Implementing a TAP

A tribal government or tribal consortium may choose to adopt a resolution that establishes a TAP. This helps to coordinate available resources and programs.

To ensure TAP effectiveness, the tribal resolution should create a Tribal Coordinating Committee. Responsibilities of a Tribal Coordinating Committee include:

  • Implementing, reviewing, and evaluating the TAP
  • Making recommendations
  • Coordinating technical assistance

TAP Development Steps

Once a Tribe has established a Tribal Coordinating Committee, the next steps to developing a TAP are to:

  1. Identify existing strengths and resources (people, programs, policies, equipment, and events).
  2. Assess needs and resources related to substance misuse.
  3. Coordinate existing and future resources.
  4. Identify gaps in existing services.
  5. Develop a comprehensive and coordinated strategy that contains goals, anticipated outcomes, activities, responsibilities, and assessments
  6. Collaborate with stakeholders to identify urgent and emerging substance use issues.

Technical Assistance

Assistance in developing a TAP is available for all American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Nations, and for rural and urban organizations that serve Native communities. To request technical assistance with developing a TAP or other types of TTA, contact the Tribal TTA Center.

TAP Resources

TAP Regional Contacts

SAMHSA’s regional directors represent the agency in the national, regional, state and local communities and connect with stakeholders.

Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) TAP Regional Points of Contact

Arizona Navajo Central

Gloria Hale-Showalter
gloria.haleshowalter@bie.edu
928-674-5131

Arizona Navajo North

Lemual Adson
lemuel.adson@bie.edu
928-283-2218

Arizona Navajo South

Jackie Wade
jacqueline.wade@bie.edu
928-871-5936

Arizona North (Hopi)

Eric North (Acting)
eric.north@bie.edu
928-738-2262; 505-563-5118

Arizona South (Phoenix)

Jim Hastings
jimmy.hastings@bie.edu
602-265-1592

Billings

Barbara Parisian
barbara.parisian@bie.edu
406-247-7953

Cheyenne River

Dr. Cherie Farlee
cherie.farlee@bie.edu
605-964-8722

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