Abigail Echo-Hawk, MA joins the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) the new Director of the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI)

Dear Leaders of Tribes, Tribal Organizations, Native-Serving Organizations, Funders, Government Agencies and our Partners:

I am excited to announce that Abigail Echo-Hawk, MA is the new Director of the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI), at the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB). Ms. Echo-Hawk is an enrolled member of the Kitkehahki band of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma; she is also a member of the Upper Athabascan people of Mentasta Village, Alaska. Ms. Echo-Hawk will officially join the UIHI at SIHB on October 17, 2016. She holds a Master of Arts in Policy Studies from the University of Washington in addition to a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and Minor in Human Rights.

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A Toolkit for Native Youth and Their Health Care Future

Much of our native youth in tribal communities visit an Indian Health Service (IHS) facility for their health care needs – just like their parents, grandparents, and other family members. For some, the only health care system they are familiar with is IHS. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the law opened up more options and benefits for American Indian and Alaska Native adults and children through the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid Expansion. But, what should native youth know about the ACA and why should they know it?

Through the IHS National Indian Health Outreach and Education (NIHOE) funding, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) created a new “Affordable Care Act Toolkit for Native Youth.” The toolkit includes posters, brochures, and a video highlighting the benefits for youth through the ACA, like free immunizations and preventive screenings; the ability to stay on a parent’s insurance until age 26; and continuing to use IHS with their new coverage.

The toolkit materials feature participants from the 2015 NIHB Youth Summit held in Washington, DC. The youth were filmed visiting with Members of Congress, interacting with policy officials, and learning about tribal health care reform from top leaders. The video also includes some of the youth in their home communities reflecting on their experiences in the nation’s capital and the importance of quality health care for themselves and their families.

It’s important to educate native youth about their health care options through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or other federal health programs. For our IHS patients, having coverage means having more options. This is particularly important for our youth as they are our future leaders and investing in their health now also means investing in their future healthy lifestyle choices. IHS and NIHB are committed to advancing positive healthy outcomes for all American Indian and Alaska Native youth.

The objectives of this new toolkit are: to introduce native youth to the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and health insurance coverage; encourage native youth to learn more about concepts of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and health insurance coverage from their local IHS Patient Benefits Coordinator or enrollment assistor entities; and engage native youth to become advocates and resources for tribal health care reform for a healthier Indian Country.

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act Toolkit for Native Youth, visit the IHS Affordable Care Act website. For information about the ACA benefits for American Indians and Alaska Natives, visit the Marketplace Tribal Resources website.

IHS awards New Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative Generation-Indigenous Awards to four Urban Indian Health Programs

Indian Health Service (IHS) announced, on September 29, 2016, 42 Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) funding awards to Tribes, Tribal organizations, Urban Indian organizations and IHS federal government programs together totaling more than $7 million for one year. These IHS grants are being awarded to programs in states and communities across the country to increase and improve positive youth development, foster resiliency and promote family engagement among Native youth up to and including age 24 in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. These awards will provide more access to health services by growing the number of behavioral health providers who specialize in working with children, adolescents and families with the overall goal of preventing suicide and substance use.

Among the health programs chosen were 4 Urban Indian Health Programs: Bakersfield American Indian Health Project in Bakersfield, CA; Indian Health Board of Minneapolis in Minneapolis, MN; Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition in Omaha, NE; and Nevada Urban Indians in Reno, NV.

“On behalf of the National Council of Urban Indian Health, I congratulate these outstanding programs and their teams on this enormous success in providing outstanding methamphetamine and suicide prevention services to their communities.” said Executive Director Maurice “Mo” Smith.

Read IHS’ Press Release

The Sacramento Native American Health Center achieves accreditation the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care

Sacramento, California –August 20,2016–The Sacramento Native American Health Center (SNAHC) has achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and in addition received Patient Centered Health Home (PCHH) Certification. Accreditation distinguishes this community health center from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation.

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NCUIH Receives Award to Support Urban Indian Health Programs


Contact: Maurice “Mo” Smith, Executive Director

MSmith@ncuih.org, (202) 544-0344


WASHINGTON, DC —The Indian Health Service, Office of Urban Indian Health Programs (OUIHP) has awarded a cooperative agreement to the National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) to act as an education and research partner for OUIHP and urban Indian organizations (UIO) funded under the Indian Health Care Improvement Act through public policy, research and data, structured training and technical assistance, and national representation. This program will support UIO to fulfill their mission to provide healthcare services to an estimated 80,000+ American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in urban settings in 21 states and more than 100 counties across the country.

The new award will allow NCUIH to provide highly specialized and culturally competent education and capacity building services to the UIO. In alignment with its mission, NCUIH will work collaboratively with OUIHP and the UIO leadership to support the following four core programmatic activities: a) Policy and Legislation Education; b) Research; c) Training and Technical Assistance; and d) Marketing, Public Relations and Outreach.

“We are eager to continue our work in Indian Country, raising awareness surrounding the healthcare needs of the Native Community,” says NCUIH Board President Ashley Tuomi. “I am excited for this opportunity, to continue fostering relationships with those providing healthcare services to the community, and for the continued growth of NCUIH. This is a great time to improve our relationships with programs and to continue advocating for the health of our community.”

“The Indian Health Service looks forward to a continued partnership with the National Council of Urban Indian Health to enhance access to quality health care for the urban American Indians and Alaska Natives that we serve,” said Sherriann Moore, Director of the Office of Urban Indian Health Programs, Indian Health Service.

NCUIH is a national 501(c) (3) non-profit urban Indian organization devoted to the support and development of quality, accessible, and culturally competent health services for AI/AN living in urban settings. Its members include urban Indian organizations and providers across the country.

For more information go to www.ncuih.org.


Fresno State’s Henry Madden Library Diversity Committee will host the traveling exhibition “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness” during normal library hours from Sept. 19 through Oct. 23. The free, public interactive exhibition will be on display in the Leon S. Peters Ellipse Gallery on the second floor (north wing) of the library.

The exhibition explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. Stories drawn from both the past and present examine how health for Native People is tied to community, the land and spirit. Through interviews, natives describe the impact of epidemics, federal legislation, the loss of land and the inhibition of culture on the health of individuals and communities today.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine developed and produced “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness.” The American Library Association Public Programs Office, in partnership with the U.S. National Library of Medicine, tours the exhibition to America’s libraries.

A free, public, catered opening reception will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 23 outside the Leon S. Peters Ellipse Gallery on California Native American Day. To RSVP for the opening reception, enter code “LIBVOICES” at www.fresnostate.edu/libraryrsvp or call Gregory Megee at 559.278.2595. Reception and weekend parking is free.

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Promotion for IHS Urban Program Leader

Sherriann Moore, has been appointed as the Director of the Office of Urban Indian Health Programs (OUIHP). She said, “I very much look forward to our continued work, TOGETHER, with all of you to further the good work that is in progress and is planned for upcoming years.  The opportunities are many and great for urban Indian health programs.  I will work hard with you, for you, and for the people we serve to achieve our collective goal of improving the access to quality health care for urban American Indians and Alaska Natives”. Please see the following link with details:  https://www.ihs.gov/newsroom/ihs-blog/august2016/promotion-for-ihs-urban-program-leader/

Complete a Financing Suicide Care survey

In partnership with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the National Council for Behavioral Health is pleased to invite you to complete a Financing Suicide Care survey.

With National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September, results from this groundbreaking survey will promote resources and awareness around issues of suicide prevention. Your feedback will inform policy recommendations to enhance suicide care financing in the United States.

This survey will take approximately 30-45 minutes and needs to be completed in one sitting by you and/or staff members who are familiar with the clinical and financing specifics of suicide care provided at your organization; please note that if you need to stop at any time, you will not be able to save your responses and come back later. You may skip any questions that you do not want to answer.

Please complete the survey by September 30. To access the survey, click here. Once completed, you may enter into an optional drawing to win a $100 VISA gift card!

If you have any questions about the survey, contact Megan Dormond, MPH, Data and Evaluation Analyst, at MeganD@thenationalcouncil.org.

This survey is being issued with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

National Council of Urban Indian Health supports Standing Rock Sioux Tribe opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline

September 1, 2016

Contact: Francys Crevier
NCUIH Policy Analyst and Congressional Relations Liaison


National Council of Urban Indian Health supports Standing Rock Sioux Tribe opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline

Washington, D.C. – Protestors in North Dakota, officials in Washington DC representing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department on the Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Prevention voice their concerns and seek support against Dakota Access oil pipeline contrition project.

The Dakota Access oil pipeline is intended to transport nearly 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day, through an approximate 1,100 mile pipeline from the Bakken region of western North Dakota across South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois where it will be connected to an existing pipeline with assess to Gulf of Mexico. A section of the pipeline is designated to run across Missouri River north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

While the pipeline will not run directly thought the Standing Rock Reservation it will be located several hundred feet upstream form Standing Rock’s boarder which poses conceivable irreversible harmful impacts on water, environment, resources, and land of Standing Rock Nation. The quality of water of the Missouri River, as the only natural source of water in the area, is crucial to the health as well as economic and cultural well-being of Standing Rock Sioux for generations to come.

Pursuant to federal environment and historic prevention laws, projects such as the
Dakota Access Pipeline are required to consult with federally recognized tribes living in near proximity prior to initiation of any construction activities. Unfortunately, Standing Rock Nation’s voiced concerns were not taken into consideration which, consequently, led to violation of the trust responsibility between the government and the Tribe.

In the light of this event, the President of National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH), Ashley Tuomi, wrote a letter to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in support of the opposition of Dakota Access Pipeline and a plea to initiate an Administrative process enforcing full Tribal input that would address consideration of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s health, environmental, and cultural well-being concerns.

Read President Tuomi’s letter of support to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe