Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research


Native It's Your Game.

Project Overview

Native It’s Your Game (NIYG) is a 13-lesson multi-component online sexual health education curriculum for AI/AN youth with demonstrated cultural acceptability, usability, and feasibility that showed a significant positive change at 12-months on intention to pursue education after high school, condom knowledge, and self-efficacy to obtain and to use condoms.


Project Details

Native It’s Your Game (Native IYG) is a web-based HIV, STD and pregnancy prevention curriculum for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth ages 12-14. Native IYG is comprised of thirteen 30-50-minute interactive lessons, which can be used in the classroom, or as an extracurricular program. NIYG teaches about healthy relationships, life skills, communication, and refusal skills using interactive activities, video games, personalized “journaling” activities, tailored feedback and individually tailored activities. NIYG also emphasizes abstinence, but also teaches learners how to protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections using medically accurate information. This curriculum is part of a larger group of programs geared towards Native youth hosted in the Healthy Native Youth website (healthynativeyouth.org) which was produced in collaboration with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona.

In Phase 1 an enhanced version of NIYG was developed (NIYG 2.0) by following a systematic, iterative review process. Enhancements included upgrade to a responsive HTML/Java delivery platform, updated content within the lessons, an enhanced facilitator curriculum manual, a content management system for teacher-student administration and feedback on lesson completion, a downloadable option to mitigate bandwidth challenges, and an enhanced backend database for dissemination tracking and report generation. Currently in Phase II NIYG 2.0 is being disseminated and implemented in AI/AN communities. The program is available via the Healthy Native Youth website (www.HealthyNativeYouth.org) which hosts numerous educational programs that link educators to culturally relevant curricula and resources. NIYG2.0 contributes to the need for culturally acceptable, high fidelity, appealing, and accessible curricula to optimize reach to AI/AN youth to improve their sexual health. Phase III -NIYG 3.0 will be further enhanced as a trauma-informed curriculum and with greater inclusivity and responsiveness to Two-Spirit and LGBTQ youth as is currently in the works. The number of NIYG users/youth till date have been 1781.

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have partnered with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB), the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA), and a team of national stakeholders.

niyg partners margins

This project is funded under the following grants:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (5U48DP001949). SIP 10-033: Innovative Approaches to Preventing Teen Pregnancy among Underserved Populations.

DHHS Administration for Children and Families. Affordable Care Act Tribal Personal Responsibility Education Program for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (HHS-2011-ACF-ACYF-AT-0157).

Indian Health Service (Contract # 248-96-0011)
Subcontracts to Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (2015-2017, 2018-2021) and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (2017-2018).

Disseminating Effective Adolescent Health Interventions in American Indian and Alaska (AI/AN) Communities. Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. Project Red Talon National Network.


Christine Markham, PhD – Principle Investigator (University of Texas School of Public Health)

Ross Shegog, PhD – Principle Investigator (University of Texas School of Public Health)

Cornelia Jessen – Principle Investigator (Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium)

Stephanie Craig Rushing, PhD, MPH – Principle Investigator (Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board)

Michelle Singer (Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board)

Amanda Gaston (Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board)

Gwenda Gorman (Inter Tribal Council of Arizona,Inc)

Travis Lane – Principle Investigator (Inter Tribal Council of Arizona,Inc)