Current Fellows
Addiction & Overdose

Charene Alexander

Bloomberg Fellow

Charene Alexander, whose traditional name is Kees Kees I Blu, is an enrolled member of the Lummi Nation, a federally recognized Tribe. She currently serves as project director for two National Institute of Health NARCHs (Native American Research Center for Health) that support and build capacity for the Northwest Indian College’s Center for Health Research in Bellingham, Washington. For the past decade Charene has led and participated in a multi-Tribal research initiative to identify multi-level prevention and recovery strategies that address the opioid and fentanyl public health crisis and promote Coast Salish wellness and strength. Her primary focus has been in leadership and expansion of the Native Transformations Project (NTP). NTP identified key sources of strengths and protective factors that contribute to wellness over a lifetime and predict secure recovery from substance use disorders. 

Located on the Lummi Nation Reservation in Washington State, Northwest Indian College (NWIC) is the only accredited Tribal College serving the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. NWIC, founded in 1973, was granted accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in 1993. NWIC is accredited at the associate's and baccalaureate level, offering four bachelor's degrees and several associate degrees and award programs. More than 2,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students have earned a credential at NWIC. NWIC is guided by its mission, “Through education, NWIC seeks to promote Indigenous self-determination and knowledge;” vision, “We are committed to our students, the Tribes we serve, and advancing Tribal sovereignty for the protection and enhancement of our homelands and future generations;” and core values that are based on the vision of the Ancestors and are contained within the language of the traditional Coast Salish people.

American Health Dispatch

Get the latest news from the Bloomberg American Health Initiative delivered to your inbox, every Friday morning.