The American Indian Health Commission was created in 1994 by federally recognized tribes, Urban Indian health organizations, and other Indian organizations to provide a forum for addressing tribal-state health issues. The Commission’s mission is to improve the health of AI/AN people through tribal-state collaboration on health policies and programs that will help decrease disparities.
The Commission works on behalf of the 29 federally-recognized Tribes and 2 Urban Indian Health Organizations in the state. Delegates are officially appointed by Tribal Councils to represent each individual Tribe, and Urban Indian Health Organization representatives serve as members-at-large. This model has been presented in state, regional, and national settings as a framework, or tool, for others in their work to form strong tribal-state partnerships on health care issues.
The Commission continues to serve as an effective forum for achieving unity and guiding the collective needs of tribal governments and urban Indian health programs in providing high-quality, comprehensive health care to AI/ANs in Washington. The ultimate goal in promoting increased tribal-state collaboration is to improve the health status of American Indians and Alaska Natives by influencing state and tribal health policy and resource allocation.
Key activities include:
• Identifying health policy issues and advocating strategies to address Tribal concerns
• Coordinating policy analysis
• Soliciting and collecting information from the state for Tribal review and response
• Disseminating information to Tribal health programs and leaders
• Promoting the government-to-government relationship between tribes and state health agencies