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News Release

Urban Indian Health Institute

Through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) is awarding $1.2 million in grants to 17 recipients to carry out methodologies and best practices meant to improve data collection for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The grant recipients consist of tribes, Native-led health, education, and advocacy organizations, and state and county departments who will implement UIHI resources and move forward decolonizing data practices when collecting data for Native people. The resources will consist of UIHI’s Best Practices for American Indian and Alaska Native Data Collection and a guide to support in navigating complex concepts, such as “Indigenous Data Sovereignty” and collecting of tribal affiliations.

“I am honored to partner with groups who are dedicated to decolonizing data alongside us,” said Abigail Echo-Hawk, director of UIHI. “Together, we will expand Indigenous knowledge throughout the country and counter the poor and harmful data practices that were put in place to erase us.”

American Indians and Alaska Natives are often omitted in data collection and data analysis because they are miscategorized and fall victim to racial misclassification.

“As a result of systemic inequities in data, Native people are undercounted in local and national data, which leads to an inaccurate representation of social, economic, and health measures and results in a lack of resources being given to Native communities,” Echo-Hawk said.

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is providing support to UIHI with a grant to carry out efforts to spread awareness of and build capacity for decolonizing data.

“We’re excited to support UIHI and its 17 grant recipients to reimagine how data are collected, analyzed, shared, and used by and for Native people to improve health and well-being,” said Lori Melichar, Senior Director, Pioneering Ideas for an Equitable Future at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “These efforts are an important part of moving toward an equity-centered public health data system, as called for by the National Commission to Transform Public Health Data Systems.”

Grant recipients:

  • American Indian Cancer Foundation, Saint Paul, MN
  • American Indian Health Service of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, Washington, DC
  • Data for Indigenous Justice, Anchorage, AK
  • Data Warriors Lab, Lame Deer, MT
  • Little Earth Residents Association, Minneapolis, MN
  • Lower Brule Community College, Lower Brule, SD
  • National Indian Education Association, Washington, DC
  • Native Conservancy, Cordova, AK
  • Natives for Community Engagement and Equity, West Linn, OR
  • New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Albuquerque, NM
  • Red Lake Nation Emergency Youth Shelter, Red Lake, MN
  • So'oh-Shinálí Sister Project, Commerce, CA
  • Texas Tribal Buffalo Project, Waelder, TX
  • Ttawaxt Birth Justice Center, Wapato, WA
  • Indigenous Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Data Advisory Group, New Orleans, LA
  • Urban Indigenous Collective, New York, NY 

About Urban Indian Health Institute

Urban Indian Health Institute is a Public Health Authority and one of 12 Tribal Epidemiology Centers in the country. It conducts research and evaluation, collects and analyzes data, and provides disease surveillance and resources to strengthen the health of urban American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

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