NIHB Partner Blog

Recent Partner Blog Posts

Indian Country Continues to Protect its Citizens as Vaccination Efforts Go On

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many disparities that exist in Indian Country. As sovereign nations, Tribes have the authority and responsibility to maintain the safety and well-being of their citizens. Throughout the pandemic, Tribal governments have enacted public health measures to limit exposure to SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating the resilience and innovation that exists within Tribal communities. For the past 18 months Tribal leaders, Tribal frontline workers, and Tribal citizens have worked tirelessly to protect elders, children, and the most vulnerable Tribal citizens. During a time of uncertainty, Tribal communities acted fast to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Vaccination Successes in Indian Country

American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19, with reports demonstrating impact at rates higher than any other population.[1] In December 2020, the world received welcoming news on the best hope to address the pandemic: vaccinations. The vaccines reached Indian Country quickly, an outcome for which the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) strongly advocated. Tribes were able to move swiftly to distribute the vaccine to their communities, resulting in AI/ANs receiving the vaccine at a rate that succeeded other racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.

What Happens When Two Public Health Crises Collide? Suicide and COVID-19: What do we know?

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront the many health disparities experienced by American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). Tribal communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, which has made apparent the inequities facing AI/AN people and Indian health care providers. It has not only created new burdens in Tribal communities but has exacerbated existing health concerns--particularly those regarding behavioral and mental health.

Tribal Casinos Respond to COVID-19 by Going Smoke-free

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations are disproportionately impacted by serious health conditions, such as, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease and a compromised immune system. AI/ANs are also at increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections, obesity, complications from pregnancy and have high rates of habitual smoking, which make AI/Ans communities at higher risk for a more serious COVID illness.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Vaccinating Indian Country

Over a year ago, the coronavirus hit Indian Country with devastating impacts that left Tribal communities mourning the loss of loved ones, community members, and elders as well as dealing with quarantine and isolation from family and friends. Though more than 600,000 lives were lost across the United States, COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have potentially saved many more lives from the disease.

Keeping Our Native Students Safe, Healthy is Paramount During COVID-19 Pandemic

By Diana Cournoyer, Executive Director, National Indian Education Association By the end of March 2020, the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) had closed classrooms in all schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). Approximately 48,000 students in K-12 schools either transitioned to a form of distance education or learned that they would not have access to education services for the remainder of the school year.

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To reach the NIHB COVID-19 Response Team, please contact [email protected].

For media inquiries, please contact Ned Johnson at [email protected].

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This website is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of financial assistance awards totaling $2,000,000, Tribal Capacity Building for COVID-19 Disease Control, and $4,000,000, Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Through Tribal Health Departments, with 80 percent funded by CDC/HHS, and 20 percent funded by non-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.