Fatherhood Is Sacred®/Motherhood Is Sacred®

Mental Health In-home Parent Skill-Based Does Not Currently Meet Criteria

Fatherhood Is Sacred®/Motherhood Is Sacred® (FIS/MIS) is a parenting education program designed to strengthen Native American families. FIS/MIS aims to help fathers and mothers actively engage with their families while also connecting with their Native American heritage and the sacred responsibilities of being a parent. Parents who are not Native American are also welcome to participate, as are youth. An adaptation, FIS/MIS for Youth, follows the same overall structure and format, but examples and content focus on preparing youth to take on the role of a father or mother in the future or with their younger relatives or neighbors. 


In FIS/MIS, facilitators lead small group sessions, with fathers and mothers attending sessions in separate cohorts but receiving similar content. Facilitators for the father cohorts are typically male and facilitators for the mother cohorts are typically female. Facilitators promote a sense of equality, create a supporting environment, and connect parents to their heritage and families in a positive way. The facilitator uses storytelling to teach session material and encourages fathers and mothers to share their own feelings and experiences. 


FIS/MIS content focuses on the three pillars of self-worth, identity, and purpose. Facilitators embed these pillars throughout 12 individual sessions. Session 1 introduces the program’s purpose and the importance of fatherhood/motherhood in Native American heritage. Session 2 explains the foundational concepts of the program: character, integrity, and fathers and mothers as leaders. Session 3 is optional and focuses on the Creator’s importance in Native American culture and heritage. Sessions 4–5 teach the power of choice, consequences of actions, and the importance of vision when making choices. Sessions 6–7 focus on the necessity of being teachable, barriers to being teachable, and how to find truth. Sessions 8–12 teach the importance and benefits of wisdom, service, identity, relationships, and nurturing.  

FIS/MIS does not currently meet criteria to receive a rating because no studies met eligibility criteria for review.

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: Mar 2024


The following sources informed the program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information: the program or service manual, and the program or service developer’s website. 

This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

FIS/MIS is designed for Native American fathers and mothers, but parents who are not Native American are also welcome to participate. Youth can also participate in FIS/MIS to prepare to take on the role of a father or mother in the future or with their younger relatives or neighbors. 


Facilitators deliver FIS/MIS in 12 two-hour group sessions. Facilitators can deliver the program once a week over 12 weeks, or twice a week over 6 weeks.  

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

Facilitators deliver FIS/MIS in person. 

Education, Certifications and Training

To become a facilitator, individuals must obtain certification from the Native American Fatherhood & Families Association (NAFFA) and must participate in a 3-day NAFFA FIS/MIS training. Training covers four sessions of the program each day. Facilitators should be Native American or have a good understanding of Native American culture. NAFFA highly recommends that the Fatherhood facilitator is male and the Motherhood facilitator is female.  

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

There are two resources that can be used to implement FIS/MIS: 

Pooley, A. M. (2022). Fatherhood Is Sacred® and Motherhood Is Sacred® manual. Native American Fatherhood & Families Association.  

Pooley, A. M. (2020). Fatherhood Is Sacred® and Motherhood Is Sacred® for Youth manual. Native American Fatherhood & Families Association. 

FIS/MIS for Youth was not determined to be an adaptation of FIS/MIS that resulted in a different program or service for the purposes of the review. 

Available languages

 FIS/MIS materials are available in English. 

For More Information

Website: https://www.nativeamericanfathers.org/fatherhood-and-motherhood-is-sacred  

Phone: (480) 833-5007 

Email: info@aznaffa.org  

Note: The details on Dosage; Location; Education, Certifications, and Training; Other Supporting Materials; and For More Information sections above are provided to website users for informational purposes only. This information is not exhaustive and may be subject to change.

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for Fatherhood Is Sacred®/Motherhood Is Sacred®
Identified in Search 0
Eligible for Review 0
Rated High 0
Rated Moderate 0
Rated Low 0
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0