The White Mountain Apache tribe in Whiteriver, Arizona, a town about three hours east of Phoenix, has roughly a 92 percent unemployment rate. Few adults there can read above the sixth-grade level, as 60 percent of the town's people drop out of school by the 10th grade.
Statistically, the tribe's annual average rate of suicides and homicides dwarfs those found in the rest of the country: While 1 in 100,000 people commits suicide or homicide nationally, this community of about 15,000 sees roughly 23 suicides and anywhere from 15 to 25 homicides a year.
This is the community where Franciscan Sr. Donna Stevens practices psychotherapy at the Rainbow Treatment Center, the tribe's substance abuse treatment facility. What began in the 1980s as a small center with three staff members has grown into an operation with five buildings and 150 professionals.
Stevens spoke with Global Sisters Report about the ministerial challenges and cultural differences that affect those seeking drug rehabilitation.