Majors in Family and Human Development, Advocates for better recovery programs

Tempe, AZ – Millicent Michelle Pepion is Bitterwater born for the Blackfeet Nation. Her maternal grandparents are Their Forehead is Red People (Tachiini), her paternal grandparents were French fur traders of the Pacific Northwest. Millicent was born in Tuba City, but was raised primarily in Mesa, AZ. This December she will graduate with a Master’s degree in Family and Human Development from the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. Her thesis, which can be viewed on, addresses concerns with treatment programs aimed at helping Native American families.

In her thesis Millicent specifically addresses her concerns with Native American Connections (NAC), a nonprofit organization that claims to help “10,000 individuals and families a year” by providing treatment programs, housing programs, and community services for all people of the Phoenix metropolis. Millicent points out that NAC has a high recidivism rate, meaning a lot of people who graduate from NAC’s treatment programs end up relapsing and returning to NAC sometimes multiple times per year. To combat this high recidivism rate within the NAC organization, Millicent suggests NAC adopt a one year treatment program and offer childcare. After graduation Millicent plans on raising $150,000 for NAC with the specific purpose of providing childcare options for parents in recovery.