Health and Health Policy

"Native nations are developing sophisticated healthcare, public health, and emergency systems that are grounded in their own understanding of how to address community needs and in their own values and beliefs."

–Dr. Danielle Hiraldo

NNIs health policy research effort analyzes how tribes can create positive health and wellness outcomes for their citizens. NNI’s work, focused in recent years on the social determinants of health and tribal control of health care services, argues for a reclaiming of what strengthens Indigenous health and well-being in Native communities. In recent years, some American Indian and Alaska Native nations have begun to reassert control over the design, maintenance, and delivery of their own health-care systems, and subsequently in defining and affecting factors beyond the health care system that result in healthy communities.

While the challenges inherent in securing funding, retaining qualified personnel, and building effective governmental and administrative institutions are significant, evidence shows that increased Native control over the design, delivery, and governance of Native health and health care can reduce health inequities for Indigenous peoples and protect, promote, and sustain healthy Indigenous nations. NNI researchers share this work through policy briefs, editorials, commentaries, presentations, and scholarly publications aimed at sharing research, stories of what has been tried in other Indigenous nations, and connecting those who think about healthy Indigenous nations.

Publications & Projects

Interview with Dr. Stephanie Carroll about New Research on COVID-19 Spread in Indian Country

Public health researcher Stephanie Carroll, co-author of “American Indian Reservations and COVID-19: Correlates of Early Infection Rates in the Pandemic” discusses new research showing which factors, like household plumbing and language barriers, correlate with a higher spread of the virus, and policy recommendations to address these factors.

Watch 5 minute interview

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