Thank you to all attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, federal partners, and community members that made this National Tribal Public Health Summit a great success.

2021 National Tribal Public Health Summit

April 27-29, 2021 | Virtual

Thank you to all of the attendees, presenters, speakers, exhibitors, vendors, and sponsors that attending and supported the 2021 National Tribal Public Health Summit from April 27-29, 2021. NIHB has posted many of the presentations from the summit below in order to ensure that the great information that was shared is widely disseminated throughout Indian Country.

The National Indian Health Board virtually welcomed over 500 Tribal leaders, Tribal health administrators, and policy advocates its virtual 2021 National Tribal Public Health Summit (TPHS) on April 27-29, 2021. NIHB Chairman William “Bill” Smith opened the first day’s plenary session with officials from several federal agencies who each carried their own respective messages on cultivating partnerships with Tribes during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal guest speakers included U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy [view video], Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky [view video], Indian Health Service (IHS) Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler, and White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Chair Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith [view video]. Read the press release

Also at the Opening Plenary, NIHB Vice Chairman and Lummi Nation Councilman Nickolaus Lewis moderated a panel of Tribal leaders that focused on the challenges of COVID-19 and the ways Tribes have persevered and protected their citizens and communities. White Mountain Apache Tribal Chairwoman Gwendena Lee-Gatewood, Pueblo of Zia Governor Jerome Lucero, and Lummi Nation Chairman Lawrence Solomon each shared stories of how their Tribes . Councilman Lewis also moderated a Native youth panel of two former NIHB Youth Health Policy Fellows – Tamee Livermont from the Oglala Lakota Nation and Alec Calac from the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians – both shared their insights on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how their generations are continuing to advocate for good health and wellness. Read the press release.

The Tribal Public Health Summit’s theme “Indigenous Resilience in Tribal Public Health Practice” honored resilience and innovation of Tribes that worked tirelessly to keep their communities safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The TPHS offered space for Tribes to showcase and share their pioneering and impactful public health strategies that strengthened the Tribal public health infrastructure and were examples of Tribal resiliency and perseverance. TPHS held six no-cost institutes with topics ranging from strengthening Tribal public health infrastructure, infection control and mitigation, and addressing intimate partner violence as well as four federal agency listening sessions with the White House, CDC, and IHS, which were open to the public. NIHB also offered 21 breakout sessions presented in five summit tracks that covered a wide-range of topics

  1. Politics of Public Health and COVID: What We Learned, What We Did, and What Happens Next,
  2. Behavioral and Spiritual Health: Embracing and Cultivating Healing, Wholeness, and Connection,
  3. Building Resilience for the Future: Strengthening Tribal Public Health Policy and Infrastructure,
  4. Preserving and Defending Our Tribal Lands: Climate Change and Environmental Health, and
  5. The Future is Now: Encouraging Our Youth to Lead.

On the third day, NIHB presented its annual Public Health Innovation Awards in three categories - national, regional, and local - for outstanding work on COVID-19 response and vaccine distribution.  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez received the national award for his inspirational leadership and collaborative work with the Navajo Nation’s unified command center, Tribal public health professionals, and community members in the Tribe’s COVID-19 response and relief. The  Confederated Tribes of Umatilla’s  Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center received the regional award for their relentless dedication to ensure their Tribal citizens had access to the COVID-19 vaccine. The Yellowhawk Tribal Health center administered nearly 4,500 COVID-19 vaccines and 3,000 COVID-19 tests and continues to play an essential role in protecting their community. The local award went to Vangie Natan with the  White Mountain Apache Rainbow Treatment Center for opening a COVID-19 quarantine site in an effort to provide a safe space for sick Tribal members to stay. Read the press release.

NIHB extends special and heartfelt thanks to everyone – including attendees, plenary speakers, presenters, sponsors, exhibitors, Tribal health and public health professionals, and Tribal leaders – who made the 2021 virtual Tribal Public Health Summit a resounding success.



National Indian Health Board
50 F St NW, Suite 600 | Washington, DC 20001 | Phone: 202-507-4070 | Email: [email protected]