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This study examines factors that influence preferences between traditional cultural and western mental health and substance use associated care among American Indians from the northern Midwest. Personal interviews were conducted with 865 parents/caretakers of tribally enrolled youth concerning their preferences for traditional/cultural and formal healthcare for mental health or substance abuse problems. Adults strongly preferred traditional informal services to formal medical services. In addition, formal services on reservation were preferred to off reservation services. To better serve the mental health and substance abuse treatment needs of American Indians, traditional informal services should be incorporated into the current medical model.