National Native Health Research Training (NNHRT) Conference

Healing Ourselves: Cultural- and Traditional Medicine-based Approaches to Sustainable Health


The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and the Native Research Network are pleased to announce the 1st annual National Native Health Research Training (NNHRT) Conference sponsored by the Indian Health Service (IHS).

When: September 18-19, 2017 (post-conference training on Sept. 20)
Where: Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, Denver, CO
Theme: Healing Ourselves: Cultural- and Traditional Medicine-based Approaches to Sustainable Health 

Conference Objectives:

  • Increase opportunities for AI/AN scientists and health professionals to share knowledge gained from health sciences research with AI/AN students and other scientists and health professionals.
  • Increase the dissemination and use of biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and health science research findings to address the health needs of AI/AN communities.
  • Enhance Tribal-academic collaborations and improve the ability of Tribes to better understand research findings, particularly related to the physical, biological, genetic, behavioral, psychological, cultural, and social implications of research.
  • Increase the effective use of Traditional Medicine, Indigenous Knowledge, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge/Environmental Health to enhance protective factors/effects and to improve health outcomes among AI/ANs.

Conference Tracks

This track will highlight new advances in biomedical and clinical research in improving primary healthcare delivery, as well as innovative approaches in research that incorporate traditional AI/AN methodologies. The session will explore, among other questions: How are AI/AN researchers using traditional and cultural-based knowledge to break new ground in biomedical and health systems research? How can Western biomedical research models be informed by Traditional Knowledge? How are approaches to AI/AN research changing in response to community inclusion and consultation? What are good models for collaboration between Tribal and non-Tribal community-based health care providers that promote access to services, continuity of care, or public health? What is the future of biomedical and health systems research in AI/AN communities? 

This track will highlight evidence-based strategies by tribal, federal, state and local agencies applied to unintentional injuries. The session will explore: What are emerging injury prevention research applicable to AI/AN communities? How should the outcomes of injury prevention research be disseminated to be responsive to the needs of AI/AN communities and aimed at reducing health disparities? 

This track will focus on the health of young and adult AI/AN men. The session will explore: What resilience and protective factors have been identified and what is their role in health outcomes? How is culture-based prevention, intervention, and treatment modalities improving health outcomes for Native men? What models for men’s health have demonstrated effectiveness? What are the research gaps in men’s health? How can we successfully translate what we know into program development and implementation? 

This session will focus on the value of Traditional Medicine in promoting AI/AN health. The session will explore: What are successful models of Traditional Medicine-based or related treatment? What challenges do researchers face today when evaluating the effects of Traditional Medicine in practice? How are these challenges being met? How are Traditional Medicine models changing? What are the strengths and weaknesses of different models? Are certain Traditional Medicine practices associated with certain outcomes? How will this information enhance Tribal-academic collaborations and improve the ability of Tribes to use research findings?

This session will explore the intersection and interactions between TEK and EH. It will highlight the importance of intergenerational learning and the value of adapting STEM curricula to reflect a TEK perspective. Both successes and challenges of applying different but potentially complementary knowledge systems will be discussed. The session will consider questions such as: How is TEK being applied in contemporary research contexts to address pressing environmental concerns? How can TEK inform EH, and vice versa? How can TEK be used in ecological management and policy development? When can TEK be more informative than Western scientific methods? What is being done to prepare AI/AN tribal college students, scientists and health professionals to incorporate both TEK and current EH research methodologies in AI/AN health studies?

About the National Native Health Research Training Initiative 

In 2017, the Indian Health Service (IHS) launched the National Native Health Research Training Initiative (NNHRTI) to promote Tribally-driven research activity through educational and training opportunities, including the first of five annual conferences that will build capacity and disseminate new and best practices for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health research. The 5-year initiative and each of the five annual conferences are sponsored by the IHS and hosted by the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and the Native Research Network (NRN).

Conference Hosts

American Indian Higher Education Consortium

American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) is the collective spirit and unifying voice of our nation's Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). AIHEC provides leadership and influences public policy on American Indian higher education issues through advocacy, research, and program initiatives; promotes and strengthens Indigenous languages, cultures, communities, and tribal nations; and through its unique position, serves member institutions and emerging TCUs.

In 1973, the first six American Indian tribally controlled colleges established AIHEC to provide a support network as they worked to influence federal policies on American Indian higher education. Today, AIHEC has grown to 37 TCUs in the United States. 

American Indian Science and Engineering Society 

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national, nonprofit organization focused on substantially increasing the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations and other indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers.

Founded in 1977, with a rapidly expanding membership of more than 4,000 individual members, AISES sustains 189 chartered college and university chapters, 15 professional chapters, and 158 affiliated K-12 schools supporting American Indian students in the critically needed STEM disciplines. 

Native Research Network, Inc.

Established in 1997, The Native Research Network, Inc. (NRN) is a leadership community of American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Canadian First Nations promoting integrity and excellence in research.

NRN advocates for high quality research that is collaborative, supportive, and builds capacity. NRN promotes an environment for research that operates on the principles of integrity, respect, trust, ethics, cooperation, and open communication in multi-disciplinary fields

2017 AISES National Conference

September 21-23, 2017
Colorado Convention Center

Immediately following the NNHRT Conference is the 2017 AISES National Conference. Register for both conferences and receive a discount!