Washington Report

An NIHB Publication

The Washington Report is an e-newsletter produced by the National Indian Health Board. Each issue contains a listing of current events on Capitol Hill, information on passed and upcoming legislation, Indian health policy analysis and action items.

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NIHB Calls on United Nations and Member States to Implement Indigenous Determinants of Health as Part of the 16th Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

NIHB Chairman William Smith testified on July 18 about the importance of culture in healing for Indigenous People at the 16th Session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“NIHB’s sole commitment and focus is to the health care and public health for all American Indian and Alaska Native Peoples. That includes the work of healing our Peoples and our Nations,” said Chairman Smith, a citizen of the EYAK Tribe in the Alaska Village of Valdez. “That work cannot succeed without restoration of language and culture, and healing from colonization. Our very concepts of what it is to be healthy are rooted in our cultures, languages and in in our shared and individual histories. Without standing in the full knowledge and understanding of the impact colonization has defined in all indigenous experience, we will not know health. We will not heal.”

In April, NIHB supported the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues’ adoption of the Indigenous Determinants of Health (IDH), an international paper with 17 Indigenous authors including NIHB, designed as a tool to help UN Member States understand the social determinants of health as they relate to Indigenous Peoples. In May, at the 76th World Health Assembly, NIHB supported the World Health Organization’s adoption of the IDH.

Now, NIHB is focused on ensuring these organizations continue to listen to Indigenous Peoples to create further recommendations on health.

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