The importance of friends and family to our health is well understood by American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). Though the specific traditions of tribes, pueblos, nations, and bands can differ quite a bit between one another, we as AI/AN share our respect for, inclusion of, and focus on Elders as a common link between our communities.
In today’s culture, many Elders are separated from their communities and therefore from some of this tradition. While we may overlook it, the connections with our families and friends are important to our health and wellbeing as Elders. Research is demonstrating the importance of social interactions to the physical and mental health of.... Read More
Bright lights and big cities: they’re attracting more and more American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) to move toward urban and metropolitan areas at an ever-quickening pace. Just before World War II, almost all – some 92% – of AI/ANs lived on reservations. Now it’s nearly the opposite, with almost 80% of AI/ANs living off tribal lands.
The push toward the cities was not always a voluntary one. After decades of removal policies and war aimed at fighting and slaughtering AI/ANs, the federal government’s approach turned into one of “killing the Indian, but saving the man.” This meant programs aimed at ‘educating’ AI/ANs in.... Read More
NICOA Advocating for Aging in Indian Country at the NCAI Convention
The National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) was a significant presence at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 73rd Annual Convention and Marketplace, October 9-14, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ. NICOA reached out to NCAI in early January to offer partnership to inform tribal leaders, partners and delegates from around the nation about the issues elders face across Indian Country. NICOA is thankful to Denise Desiderio, NCAI Policy & Legislative Director, and Robert Holden, NCAI Deputy Director for their support, of NICOA’ s advocacy for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) elders.
NICOA presented a breakout session titled “Elder Issues in Indian Country” on Wednesday, October 12. NICOA coordinated a panel of speakers with expertise in aging across Indian Country. The.... Read More
Celebrating NICOA’s 40th Anniversary and the Resilience of AI/AN Elders
Earlier this month, I had the great honor of attending the National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) biennial conference in Niagara Falls, NY, in celebration of NICOA’s 40th anniversary. The event brought together over 1300 people representing numerous tribes from the United States and Canada, showcasing the resilience of and challenges facing American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities as they age. Three full days of panel discussions, workshops, a traditional meal, and dancing allowed us to learn from one another and take pride in Native heritage and tribal identity.
Though the NICOA conference has been held every two years since NICOA’s founding in 1976, this was my first time attending the conference. I was floored by the number.... Read More
NICOA hosts 21st National Indian Council on Aging Conference in Niagara Falls, NY
“Aging Healthy through Song and Dance” is the theme for the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) Biennial Conference, celebrating 40 years of service to American Indian and Alaska Native Elders. The Conference will take place September 13th through 15th, 2016, in Niagara Falls, NY. More than 1500 Elders, stakeholders and Aging Network providers are expected to attend. NICOA acknowledges the Seneca Nation of Indians for co-hosting this dynamic conference.
During the event, voting member Elders will actively participate in caucus sessions representing each of the twelve NICOA regions; participate in the election of board members; submit aging specific resolutions; revise bylaws; and develop a collective aging policy agenda for NICOA to advocate for in Washington, DC.
Today, the Diverse Elders Coalition delivered 4,710 comments to the federal government’s Administration for Community Living (ACL) in response to the ACL’s public comment period on their Guidance for the Development and Submission of State Plans on Aging, State Plan Amendments and the Intrastate Funding Formula. Our coalition members’ comments highlight the unique aging needs of diverse elders in the United States and demand that the ACL’s guidance to state aging programs explicitly acknowledge and meet the needs of American Indian/Alaska Native elders, Asian American/Pacific Islander elders, Black elders, Hispanic elders, and LGBT elders.
Empowering our community members to tell their stories and advocate for their needs is.... Read More
This letter was originally published on the NICOA website on July 19, 2016. Read the original here.
Ya’at’eeh! I am reaching out to you to share about a timely opportunity that we have for your voice be heard by the Administration for Community Living and state aging network. But we need to act quickly!
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is requesting public comment to help hold the Aging Network accountable for meeting the needs of Elders in Indian Country. I am appealing to you to take just one minute of your time to sign our Comment.... Read More
Healthy eating in the modern world is not always easy. Fast food and prepackaged foods offer inexpensive and easy alternatives to healthier foods or cooking from scratch. Even in remote locations, you can count on finding snacks like burgers, chips, candies, and sodas. But these kinds of foods can be harmful to our health in the long run.
A poor diet can have dramatic impact on the lives of Elders. American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) in particular face a predisposition – a greater likelihood of developing – obesity and diabetes. Diet and nutrition play a crucial role in the overall.... Read More
by Christine Herman, NCAREE Technical Communications Manager for NICOA. This Post originally appeared on the NICOA blog.
While there are many factors that contribute to good health, diet and exercise remain key. In the not so distant past, American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) communities were largely untouched by the types of chronic disease that now plague us, like diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. From the traditional diets to the higher levels of physical activity, AI/AN lifestyles were naturally healthier than those led by people in general today.
Elders, on average, are living longer now than ever before. While aging does bring new challenges, it also provides new opportunities. As another stage in the cycle of life, we look toward our Elder years with the understanding that while some doors will have closed, others are now open to us.
For American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Elders, growing older has provided us with a lifetime of valuable experiences and lessons learned. Through struggles and successes, we have gained wisdom about many different subjects. Elders are looked to for this wisdom, for guidance, from the younger generations. It is both a privilege and.... Read More