Check us out on Twitter for future campaigns and social media messages we invite you to borrow and re-use.
IA2 can print and ship up to $250 worth of flyers or other resources directly to your tribe or Urban Indian Health Organization. Email us for info on what is available for printing or for more info.
Click hereto read our Resource Center updates, learn about our upcoming events, and what we've been doing to help American Indian and Alaska Native communities address brain health, Alzheimer's, and dementia.
The International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA2) celebrates Native American Heritage Month this November. National Native American Heritage Month empowers American Indians and Alaska Native people from all around the country to honor traditions, culture, history, and livelihood on ancestral lands. This is an opportunity for Native representation to raise visibility within our Nation and others can join in through awareness, education, and celebration of Native people.
For many, Native American Heritage Month is only recognized once a year in November, but our heritage is something to celebrate every day. Native American Heritage Month also provides a special opportunity to honor the role Native elders play in their communities. Elders are keepers of sacred tribal knowledge and keep culture and traditions alive. We continuously look forward to meaningful and measurable improvements in the lives of our elders.
Join us throughout the month as we acknowledge Native American Heritage Month on social media and elsewhere.
Promising Practice: Traditional Food Culture in Tribal Communities Today
By: Mary Ann OMeara, MPH, Breana Dorame, International Association for Indigenous Aging; Mike Splaine, Splaine Consulting
For many American Indian tribal members, rural locations create a barrier to food access. According to a food access map from the Arizona Department of Health Services, there are only two grocery stores on the roughly 2,500 square mile reservation, where more than 9,000 Hopi people live. On the Navajo reservation, which surrounds Hopi lands, there are a few stores within a 100-mile radius, and for many, the high prices drive residents to travel long distances for their groceries. In addition, many of the locations that carry grocery food items either carry limited fresh produce and dairy products or it is high-priced. Many Indigenous people and researchers refer to the ways American Indian food culture was changed as “food colonization.” Many of the ingredients central to a western diet, such as refined sugar, milk, and wheat, pose a health threat to American Indians and have led to widespread health issues such as diabetes and obesity.
According to a recent study published in Neurology, people who eat high amounts of ultra-processed foods, such as soft drinks, chips, and cookies, may have a higher risk of developing dementia than those who eat low amounts. Replacing ultra-processed foods in a person’s diet with unprocessed or minimally processed foods was found to be associated with a lower risk.
“Ultra-processed foods are meant to be convenient and tasty, but they diminish the quality of a person’s diet,” said Huiping Li, Ph.D., of Tianjin Medical University in China. “These foods may also contain food additives or molecules from packaging or produced during heating or cooking.”
Not coincidentally, a movement to support more cultivation, preparing, and enjoying traditional foods is gaining momentum in Indian Country. J. Neil Henderson, Ph.D., points out, “All the research agrees that eating whole, unprocessed food is best. So, no processed food, no seed oils, and no sugar are not just protective against diabetes but dementia.”
According to nutrition and public health consultant Heidi Robertson, “Traditional foods are a connection to memories, community, and culture and full of vitamins and minerals, making it a powerful tool for preserving brain health. There are Tribes that do currently incorporate traditional foods into their programming, such as the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc., The Hopi Tribe, and The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe."
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables, at least half your grains, and switch to fat-free low-fat milk
Increase physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary behaviors as part of a healthy lifestyle; and,
Maintain appropriate calorie balance during each stage of life---childhood, adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and older age.
SNAP-Ed is implemented through both group and individual interactive learning opportunities as well as through print and video materials. The program strives to include cultural components into teaching with an emphasis on using traditional foods and maintaining an active lifestyle through gardening.
SNAP-Ed is currently offered at the tribal sites of: Bad River, Lac du Flambeau, Red Cliff, St. Croix, and Stockbridge-Munsee. GLITC also provides an online Facebook Community - GLITC Fit Families, including education and events in the area.
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s reservation is a rural desert area located in Washoe, Lyon, and Storey Counties in Northern Nevada. Pyramid Lake, itself, is very valuable to their Tribal culture due to fishing. It consists of approximately 112,000 acres that cover the surface of the terminal desert lake. Pyramid Lake has 5 different fish species that provide abundant sustenance for the community. This allows them to connect to their traditional foodways.
Autumn Harry is the first Paiute woman licensed to offer guided fly fishing, Kooyooe Pa'a Guides hoping to blaze a trail for other Paiute women on Pyramid Lake, also known as Kooyooe Pa’a Panunadu. “Our people here are fisher people. We’re known as the cui-ui tucutta, which is ‘cui-ui eater.’ Those fish are really why our people are still here today.” (Be sure to watch the video below)
First Paiute woman fly fishing guide at Pyramid Lake hopes to blaze a trail for others | Indy TV -The Nevada Independent
In partnership with the CDC, the International Association for Indigenous Aging has created the first of a series of 6 Healthy Food rack cards. This healthy eating-focused message series includes practical advice and culturally relevant recipes. These healthy eating rack cards are available to the public.
My grandparents and great-grandparents have played a significant role in my life. I would beg my mom to take me to visit my great-grandparents after school growing up and moved into a rural community to care for my grandmother after finishing high school. I recently moved back to my hometown in order to be near my other grandmother, my parents, and my other family. Having worked as a professional care provider, in a skilled nursing home, and for an Area Agency on Aging, I see the gaps in the systems and the need to provide better care for those who cared for us and our community. Now, as an Associate Director with the Healthy Brain Initiative at the Alzheimer’s Association, I am honored to work on the Road Map for Indian Country. IA2 helped to write the Road Map for Indian Country and continues to develop valuable Brain Health resources for tribal communities. As this initiative moves forward, I am excited to see the leadership and collaboration around supporting Brain Health in tribal communities continue to grow and be strengthened by the collective knowledge and experiences leading the conversation.
Community Voices Healthy Brain Blog: An Interview with Our Traditional Knowledge Keeper Sonny Hill
Written by Margaret King, BS, American Indian Alzheimer's Research Ambassador, University of Wisconsin-Madison Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
Larry “Sonny” Hill, Mohawk, is a Traditional Knowledge Keeper in Oneida. We talked about his thoughts about Alzheimer’s disease and roles of the community.
“It was not prominent back then; our people never had a name for it. Caregiving was not a job. It was part of the family responsibility because they loved them and cared for them (elders).”
When asked how it develops, he responded, “diet has a lot to do with this. And genetics. People used to live to their 80s and 90s. A lot of people are mixed now; this may have to do with the current strength of our bodies (less). Other causes are stress…depression, alcoholism, drugs, racism, and discrimination. If we continue to abuse our mind and abuse our body, something is going to pay.”
He also commented, “People feel lots of pressure these days; they need a place to carry less stress and feel safe. Stress affects the mind.”
He added, “Spirituality is important. We need to have strong faith. We use our medicine societies. Our ceremonies always talk about making our mind strong and the body will follow. We also use our social dances. We exercise our bodies in our dances and carry away that stress. We also need each other; it is hard to take on the world by yourself.”
Other tenets he shared include, “My grandparents were always working. They had a strong work ethic and taught me too also. This keeps the mind healthy, not much time for idle. We should always crave knowledge.”
He added, included keeping the Alzheimer’s disease in perspective, “We should be careful of labeling sickness. We put people in a box and live there. We are much more than that.”
This story is an original excerpt written by Margaret King found in Our Voices: Brain Health Wisdom for Indigenous People: August issue. For additional information regarding this story, please reach out to Margaret King.
Third Party Evaluation helps tell the story, improve programs, and sustain funding.
IA² provides consulting services as a third-party evaluator to conduct independent assessments of program implementation and outcomes, using evidenced-based methods and customized tools. As grant stakeholders and funders increase their expectations for program accountability – striving to understand how their financial support can fully maximize outcomes – evaluation increases in importance. Whether it is during the grant writing process or post-award, programs benefit from third-party evaluation, including a more comprehensive funding proposal, data-driving program implementation approaches, demonstration of program effectiveness, and the ability to leverage future funding opportunities.
IA² offers leadership and practical assistance in program evaluation and research, often in complex environments and in a wide variety of areas – from education to business and industry to non-profit and government agencies, including:
Knowledge of ADRD’s impact in Indian country as well as national and tribal efforts to address solutions.
Experience developing program evaluations for an array of funders (e.g.,, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Justice).
Deep experience with data collection and analyses to improve program performance in Indian country.
Demonstrated expertise in delivering evaluation services for large-scale projects.
Based on the clients’ activities, IA²‘s team develops unique evaluation designs and plans, tailored to meet their needs. Combined with drawing upon our network of content area experts, we effectively communicate gaps, recommendations, and improvement advisories and provide un-bias personalized report findings for stakeholders.
If you would like help telling your story, improving your programs, demonstrating program effectiveness to sustain funding, or need an evaluator as part of your grants services team, please contact email@example.com.
Our evaluation-related capabilities increased with the addition in July of Nicole Cournoyer, MPH, as IA²‘s Evaluation and Research Associate.
Ms. Cournoyer holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of New England. She acquired her certification in The First Nations principles of OCAP® and experience working with Indigenous communities and contributing to developing a culturally competent healthcare network.
In her short time with us, she has provided consultation on post-award activities such as the co-creation of evaluation instruments, and data-gathering workflows, and has analyzed results for stakeholder-specific reports, for several tribal partners.
I Can’t Remember: A Native Family’s Story of Dementia
Alzheimer's Disease: Stories from Caregivers: Overcoming Fear and Frustration to Find Support
More than 5 million Americans are suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Hear from four Native American families on caring for their loved ones and seeking help on an uncertain journey. If someone you love is afflicted with dementia or Alzheimer's, you're not alone.
NEW Resource – Healthy Food, Healthy Brain Rack Card Series
Download the first in a planned 6-series ready-for-use rack card for American Indian and Alaska Native nations and tribal serving organizations.
This healthy eating-focused message series includes practical advice and culturally relevant recipes.
Rack cards can be distributed through senior centers, inter-tribal organizations, healthcare facilities, administrative offices, tribal newspapers/radio stations, and as mailers to tribal members. Tribal meal delivery programs can incorporate weekly distribution for in-person and home-delivered meals. High-resolution files are available for download.
Rack cards are 3.67″ x 8.5″ and can be laid out to print 4 to a standard size page.
NEW Report -
Tribal Law & Policy: Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias
As sovereign nations, tribes are uniquely situated to use law as a public health tool to promote the health and well-being of their communities. Additionally, federal law creates a framework that governs the relationships among tribes, states, and the federal government that can affect tribal public health. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017)
Check out this new policy report for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. This report explores existing tribal laws and policies related to Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia for Native communities.
Law, regulation, and policy are all essential public health services as tools to promote equity and improve public health.
From the International Association for Indigenous Aging by Splaine Consulting.
10 Signs of Thinking or Memory Changes that Might be Dementia - 6 Design Options to Choose From
Designed by and for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities!
Access high resolution 1) Adobe pdf, 2) .jpg, 3) .png and 4) original design files for use in your community.
Looking for a different customized picture for your community? For a limited time contact us to request an image swap.
We have $250 printing stipends for tribes and urban Indian organizations and can ship flyers directly to your community.
Contact us for design help or info on printing stipends at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to our Brain Health Advisory Group for time and input in to this document.
The River: A Native Story About Dementia applies a Native American cultural analogy to the topic of dementia. This updated version of The River Story has been created for use in the adaptation of Dementia Friends for American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
The story is read by Dave Baldridge (Cherokee), executive director of the International Association for Indigenous Aging. Dave successfully lives and works with dementia.
The River Story was originally written and narrated by Dr. Anton (Waagosh) Truer, Professor of Ojibwe, Bemidji State University.
Dementia Friends for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities
Dementia Friends for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities – Information Sessions Training in November!
IA² is offering an opportunity to participate in a virtual pilot of Dementia Friends for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities. We have been continually working with American Indian and Alaska Native communities to develop and improve the Dementia Friends content to better meet the needs of our communities.
Dementia Friends for AI/AN Communities Updates:
We strive to create culturally relevant content by embracing American Indian and Alaska Native community values. IA² continues to convene with a workgroup of Dementia Friends Champions for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities to consider changes to the content to improve readability and health literacy and identify additional resource needs to complement the initial training.
Interested in becoming a Dementia Friend?
Join us and become a Dementia Friend for American Indian and Alaska Native communities! By participating in the information session you will become a Dementia Friend and help make your community more inclusive for people living with dementia!
Tuesday November 29th, 2022 03:00 PM (Eastern Time) / 12:00 PM (Pacific Time) Click Here to Register
About the Session: This is a 90-minute interactive session.
This session touches on an overview of dementia, what it is like to live with dementia, and cover 6 key messages about dementia and memory problems for American Indian and Alaska Native people. After completing this session you will be asked to turn your understanding into action to help someone living with dementia within your community.
About Dementia Friends: Dementia Friends is a global movement that aims to change the way people view dementia. By educating communities about what dementia is and how it affects people, we can all make a difference for people affected by dementia. This program has been adapted specifically for American Indian and Alaska Native individuals and communities. Dementia Friends will aid in spreading awareness, reducing stigma, and reducing risk in tribes, urban-Indian communities, and Alaska Native communities.
Click to Register for a November Dementia Friends Information Session:
To learn more about the Dementia Friends Initiative, participate in a review of the materials, pilot the training content, or attend an upcoming session, please visit our Dementia Friends page by clicking here.
Adapting Evidence-based Practices for Under-resourced Populations
Brand new resource just released. This may be of interest as a resource that both tribes and public health staff could use to consider for adaptation of evidence-based interventions for tribal communities.
The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration newly released resource guide (September 2022) focuses on research supporting adaptations of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for under-resourced populations. Adaptations involve tailoring care, programs, and services to the cultural, social, gender, and demographic contexts of the people served to yield positive outcomes. You can download the pdf to this document by clicking the button below.
BOLD Public Health Funding Opportunity 35 5-Year Grants Forecasted – NOFO Out in December 2022
Agency Name: Centers for Disease Control - NCCDPHP
Description: This NOFO carries out actions from the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act PL115-406. This NOFO will fund public health departments to increase their capacity to contribute to the field of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) to expand and improve the response to ADRD in their jurisdictions and develop a connected approach to build the dementia infrastructure, including addressing social determinants of health to facilitate health equity, to improve the public health approach to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) using the CDC Healthy Brain Initiative State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map (for state/local applicants) as well as the Road Map for Indian Country (for tribal applicants) as a framework. This 5-year NOFO will fund awardees in two different components, both with an emphasis on ADRD risk reduction, early diagnosis of ADRD, prevention and management of comorbidities leading to preventable hospitalizations, coordination of community services, caregiving for persons with ADRD, health equity, SDOH and community-clinical linkages: Component 1: “Capacity Building and Implementation” For jurisdictions without previous full spectrum ADRD-related goal setting, improve the infrastructure for dementia, create or expand a coalition, develop a single jurisdiction-wide ADRD strategic plan, and implement strategies and activities described below. Component 1 will be funded for 2 planning years and 3 implementation years. Component 2: “Implementation” is for jurisdictions with infrastructure in place to implement jurisdiction-wide ADRD strategies and activities. Component 2 will be funded for 5 full implementation years. Recipients will apply for either Component 1 or Component 2. In addition to strategies and activities listed in the NOFO, recipients are expected to increase awareness and understanding among the general public (including populations of high burden), providers, and other professionals, of ADRD topics including risk reduction, early diagnosis of ADRD, prevention and management of comorbidities leading to preventable hospitalizations, and caregiving for persons with dementia. Recipients are also expected to increase coordination of statewide efforts including improvement of community-clinical linkages between clinical, services, supports and community resources.
Forecasted Date: Jul 26, 2022
Estimated Post Date: Dec 14, 2022
Estimated Application Due Date: Feb 15, 2023
Estimated Award Date: Jul 29, 2023
Estimated Project Start Date: Sep 30, 2023
Fiscal Year: 2023
City or township governments
Special district governments
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Everyone needs social connections to survive and thrive. As people age, they often find themselves spending more time alone. Loneliness and social isolation have been associated with higher rates of depression, a weakened immune system, heart disease, and an increased risk of dementia. However, there are things older adults can do to stay connected. If you are looking for additional opportunities, consider joining a Dementia Caregiver Drop-In Support Group. Be sure to check out the IA2 Calendar of Events by clicking the button below the NIH video about loneliness and social isolation and staying connected.
Connect & share with other American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Contact us to share Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and brain health community news, resources, information, and promising practices happening in your community or others.
Brain health e-News for and by American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
This e-news is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $348,711 with 90 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.