Celebrate American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage!
The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state, getting endorsements from 24 state governments, to have a day to honor American Indians.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November 1990 as "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994.
When the Framers gathered to write the United States Constitution, they drew inspiration from the Iroquois Confederacy, and in the centuries since, American Indians and Alaska Natives from hundreds of tribes have shaped our national life. During Native American Heritage Month, we honor their vibrant cultures and strengthen the government-to-government relationship between the United States and each tribal nation.
For more information, see the US Census Bureau's Facts for Features, 2015, American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month and the White House's Presidential Proclamation, National Native American Heritage Month, 2015.
Learn about CDC's Programs to address Tribal health.
Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities
As we celebrate American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage month this year, CDC highlights The Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities — Selected CDC-Sponsored Interventions, United States, 2014 report, which offers real-world examples of how public health programs can address health disparities.
Examples in the report include how four American Indian/Alaska Native tribal communities implemented evidence-based road safety interventions to reduce motor vehicle-related injuries and death.
To view the report, see the following:
- Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities – Selected CDC-Sponsored Interventions, United States, 2014 MMWR Supplements, April 18, 2014, Vol. 63, Supplement No.1, Pg.1-48
- Tribal Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention Programs for Reducing Disparities in Motor Vehicle-Related Injuries, Pg.28-33
- Download and/or Print the 1-Page Handout [111 KB]
For More Information:
- CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)
Tribal Road Safety
- CDC's Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS)
Tribal Support Unit serves as the primary link between CDC/ATSDR and Tribal governments.
Mortality and Morbidity
In addition, a variety of health disparities affect AI/AN communities, including, disproportionately high prevalences of the following:
- Teenage Pregnancy
- Infant Death
- Unintentional Injuries
- Motor Vehicle Injuries
- Chronic Liver Disease, and Cirrhosis
- Chronic Respiratory Disease
- Drug and Alcohol Use
CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report (CHDIR)
The CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report - United States, 2013 (CHDIR) is important for encouraging action and facilitating accountability to reduce modifiable disparities by using interventions that are effective and scalable. The report also underscores the need for more consistent data on population characteristics that have often been lacking in health surveys such as disability status and sexual orientation.
For examples of some important health disparities affecting the American Indian /Alaska Native populations reported in the CHDIR, see the American Indian & Alaska Native Populations web page.
- American Indian & Alaska Native Populations
- CDC Feature: National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day ~ March 20th
- Health Disparities in HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, & TB: American Indians & Alaska Natives
- Health, United States, 2014 – American Indian or Alaska Native Population
- FastStats - Health of American Indian or Alaska Native Population
- HHS, Minority Women's Health – American Indians/Alaska Natives
- White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education
- Tribal Colleges & Universities (TCUs)
- White House Presidential Proclamations
- National Native American Heritage Month, 2015
- US Census Bureau, Facts for Features
- American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month, 2015
- Page last reviewed: November 9, 2015
- Page last updated: November 9, 2015
- Content source:
- Office of Minority Health & Health Equity (OMHHE)
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs