FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NCUIH Contact: Meredith Raimondi, Vice President of Policy and Communications, email@example.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 3, 2023) – In response to barriers that have prevented Native communities from participating in elections, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new agency actions to improve voting access. In March, a pilot program through the Indian Health Service was announced, where five facilities would serve as voter registration pilot sites by the end of 2023. Recently, NATIVE HEALTH in Phoenix, Arizona, became the first of these pilot sites to be designated through the National Voter Registration Act.
“Native American voters often face significant barriers to accessing the right to vote. We are working to change that. For the firsttime ever, Tribal members can now register to vote at an Indian Health Service facility, Native Health of Phoenix.” – Vice President Kamala Harris
“Our Native communities routinely face barriers not only with access to voting, but with registering to vote itself. The IHS Voter Registration Pilot Program will help address and eliminate these barriers. We are honored that one of our Urban Indian Organizations is leading the way as the first site to launch this program. NATIVE HEALTH has made civic engagement a priority. We look forward to seeing what other sites are selected for this program and will continue to uplift this work.” – NCUIH CEO, Francys Crevier (Algonquin).
“Voting is a social determinant of health, and we are critical access point to enable our communities to participate in the fundamental civic duty of voting. We are honored to be the first pilot site for this essential program that will make it easier for eligible Native Americans to exercise our right to vote.” Walter Murillo (Choctaw), NCUIH Board President-Elect and CEO of NATIVE HEALTH.
At a recent event, IHS Deputy Director Benjamin Smith (Navajo) stated, “President Biden pledged to designate five Indian Health Service voter registration pilot sites by the end of this calendar year. We are honored to be here and celebrate NATIVE HEALTH as the first to gain National Voter Registration Act designation under the Indian Health Service in alignment with the president’s vision.”
The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) is the national non-profit organization devoted to the support and development of quality, accessible, and culturally competent health and public health services for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) living in urban areas. NCUIH is the only national representative of the 41 Title V Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) under the Indian Health Service (IHS) in the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA). NCUIH strives to improve the health of the over 70% of the AI/AN population living in urban areas, by supporting their access to high-quality, culturally-competent care.