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Red Medicine Tobacco Prevention Project

Commercial Tobacco is not a Native Tradition

Red Medicine

Project Overview


The Red Medicine Tobacco Prevention Project (RMTPP) is funded by the California Tobacco Control Program.


The RMTPP aims to work with tribal and urban Native youth in Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties to address commercial tobacco use disparities impacting their communities. Our commitment extends to supporting Native youth to reclaim traditional tobacco and preserving cultural values and practices.


The RMTPP primary objectives are to build tribal and urban Native youth capacity and leadership skills to influence Native decision makers to pass policies to eliminate commercial tobacco waste and litter, and to support cessation of commercial tobacco products. 

RMTPP begins with the NSF premise that culture is prevention, and health and wellness are essential to youth achieving life goals and aspirations.

RMTPP details:

  • Awarded in July 2020

  • 5 years’ project period (2020 – 2025)

  • Service area: Kern, Kings and Tulare counties

  • Focus: tribal and urban Native youth (12 to 24 years)

RMTPP principles:

  • Protect and preserve ancestral and sacred lands

  • Engage in traditional cultural practices

  • Foster youth leadership to overcome historical challenges that Native people face

Principles for achieving tribal/American Indian/Alaskan Native (AIAN) urban youth goals via programs linking health and wellness to:

Protecting and preserving ancestral and sacred lands

Engaging in traditional cultural practices

Fostering leadership to systematically overcome historical challenges AIAN face

Project Goals

  1. Increase knowledge of the health harms of commercial tobacco products.

  2. Increase knowledge of the environmental harms of commercial tobacco products to the earth, ecosystems and all living things that depend on clean water and soil, habitats, and food sources.

  3. Norm change: rejecting commercial tobacco use, reclaiming traditional tobacco.

  4. Increase youth capacity to mobilize and address commercial tobacco using their voices, values, and vision. 

  5. Increase youth leadership skills to challenge the presence of commercial tobacco in tribal and urban Native communities.

  6. Create a youth led anti-commercial tobacco campaign (digital stories, photo voice, social and print), conference presentations, testimony, policy pitches to elected tribal officials, local and state agencies).

Service Area & Partners

The RMTPP aims to partner with tribal and Native organizations, such as:


  • Bakersfield American Indian Health Project

  • Tule River Indian Tribe

  • Tachi Yokuts Tribe 

  • Tejon Yokuts Tribe 

  • Fresno American Indian Health Project

  • Owen Valley Career Development Center

Catchment Area - CA County Map.png
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