Indigenous Environmental Health

Indigenous Environmental Health

Environmental health research focuses on predominantly on human health impacts. This approach often does not resonate with Indigenous communities, wherein the environment, animals, plants and humans are inextricably intertwined.

These projects seek to highlight the importance of Indigenous foods and resources in a cultural, spiritual and heritage-based sense, while integrating information on sustainability and stewardship of natural resources, and an understanding of how resources can be impacted by contamination in the environment and how contamination can impact human health.

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Open access learning modules

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Releases Open-Access Learning Modules to Help Tribes Assess Health and Adapt to Climate Change.

Over the past several years, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) has worked with Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (Swinomish) as part of the Climate Ready Tribes (CRT) project funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the project, Swinomish indigenized the CDC Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) health assessment framework to better reflect indigenous health definitions and priorities.

Now, NIHB is delighted to announce that Swinomish has developed a series of online, freely accessible modules that describe why and how Swinomish modified BRACE (module 1), and provide an example of how Swinomish used the indigenized BRACE framework in a climate change and health assessment project (module 2). Swinomish hopes that other Tribes may tailor the process and methods for use in their own communities.

The work was completed in collaboration with the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences and Oregon State University's Open Educational Resources Unit. Open educational resources are open textbooks and reusable digital materials that exist in the public domain and are offered freely for students, teachers, and researchers to share, use, and reuse as a means of increasing the world's access to knowledge.

View the modules by clicking the buttons below.


More information on the Climate Ready Tribes project can be found on the NIHB website climate pages and the project fact sheet (pdf). Additionally, you can sign up for the Climate and Health Learning Community. If you have any questions or comments about NIHB's project, please email [email protected]!