NICOA Joins 2019 Aging in America Conference

by Kayla Sawyer

The National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) will travel to New Orleans for the 2019 Aging in America conference on April 15-18 to learn best practices and gain insights from leaders in the field about the current state of aging in America. Join nearly 3,000 professionals to discuss a multitude of issues affecting older adults as well as the latest policies and trends.

According to the American Society on Aging, the conference will have “a strong focus on critical and emergent topics facing the field of aging, as well as cutting-edge and responsive programmatic, research, policy and advocacy efforts.” Topics will include social isolation, emergency and disaster readiness, housing.... Read More

             

The Importance of National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making it difficult to fight off diseases, infections and certain cancers. HIV specifically attacks the body’s CD4+ cells, a type of T-cell that has a critical role in our adaptive immune system. When an unknown virus, bacteria, or pathogen enters the human body, CD4+ cells are required to stimulate the immune system in making the machinery to fight off the unknown intruder. Without CD4+ cells, it becomes difficult for the human body to regulate immune responses, increasing the risk of death from diseases and infections as common as the cold. When HIV destroys CD4+ cells, impairing the functionality of the immune system, this leads to the acquired.... Read More

             

Elder Abuse Often Goes Unreported

by Kayla Sawyer. This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.

Unfortunately, the abuse and neglect of American Indian and Alaska Native elders occurs with alarming frequency in tribal communities. Tribal leaders from across the country have identified three major challenges in addressing elder abuse and neglect issues on reservations. There is a need to increase training about elder abuse and neglect, a lack of codes addressing elder abuse issues and a lack of policies and procedures for tribal agencies handling elder abuse and neglect issues.

More than 79 percent of elder abuse cases go unreported. Many tribes don’t have their own specialized elder protective service so there may not be anyone to report abuse.... Read More

             

Inadequate Data on Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

by Kayla Sawyer. This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.

TRIGGER WARNING: If reading this post triggers past traumas, please see the resources listed at the end of this article for assistance.

There is a serious lack of meaningful government data documenting rates of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. A recent study by the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) revealed that only 116 of the 5,712 cases of murdered or missing Native women were logged into the Department of Justice’s nationwide database.

U.S. attorneys’ offices declined to proceed with.... Read More

             

Honoring Native Heritage and Supporting American Indian/Alaska Native Elders


Photo by R. Madison

American Indian and Alaska Native Elders are the heart and soul of Native communities across the United States, and indigenous traditions of dance, food, cuisine and language around the world continue to thrive. We join our member organization, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA), in celebrating the rich heritage of the more than 500 unique tribal nations across the United States and the Elders who are preserving and passing those traditions down to future generations.This Native American Heritage Month, we’re sharing highlights from the Diverse Elders Coalition blog throughout 2018, including:

The Importance of Good Sleep for Elders: “Not only do Elders.... Read More
             

Learning and Teaching at the 2018 NICOA Conference on Aging in Indian Country

This week, the Diverse Elders Coalition will be participating in the 2018 NICOA Conference on Aging in Indian Country, learning and teaching alongside Tribal Elders, advocates, and service organizations at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, CA. The 2018 Conference — NICOA’s 21st conference since the organization was founded in 1976 — will be the second that I’ve been a part of after traveling to Niagara Falls for the 2016 event. I’m looking forward to connecting with our friends and partners at NICOA as well the 1000+ other advocates and Elders who will be in attendance.

NICOA’s conferences tend to be really special events, with a Tribal fashion show, traditional foods served at.... Read More

             

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and as we have previously shared mental illness affects one in five adults in America and is a leading cause of disability. Unfortunately, almost two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek help, and racial and ethnic groups are even less likely to get help.

Furthermore, studies have shown that mental health is a major concern for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). Specifically, AI/ANs have a higher prevalence of a variety of mental health conditions, experience PTSD twice as often as the general population, and are known to experience serious psychological distress 1.5 times more than the general population.

#MyStoryMyWay

This year.... Read More

             

NICOA Conference on Aging in Indian Country is in September

The 2018 National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) Conference on Aging in Indian Country is just two months away, and it is the only conference which focuses exclusively on American Indian and Alaska Native Elders. The biennial conference, which will bring in 1,500 to 2,000 American Indian and Alaska Native Elders from all over the country, will be held at the stunning Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California from September 10-13, 2018.

The conference is a one-of-a-kind experience for attendees, especially for American Indian and Alaska Native Elders and those in aging organizations and communities. At the conference, attendees will learn about policy issues that are critical for Elders; learn about new programs and services.... Read More

             

Two Spirit and LGBT Natives Are Making a Difference in Their Communities

June is LGBT Pride Month and although there are Two Spirit and LGBT members within Native communities, they are often apprehensive to come out. As the Indigenous Ways of Knowing Program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling notes, family is important within Tribal communities, and “too often, rejection of Two Spirit / LGBT community members by families, peers, and the community breaks families apart and tears at the social fabric of our community.”

This year, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) wants to celebrate LGBT Pride Month by sharing some information on Two Spirit and LGBT Natives that are not only out and proud, but making a significant difference.... Read More

             

Older Americans Month: Engage at Every Age

May is Older Americans Month! This year, the theme is Engage at Every Age, which emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.

How to Participate in Older Americans Month:

Join the ACL and AoA in the Older Americans Month Selfie Challenge! They want to see how you’re engaging. Simply take a selfie (or have someone take your photo) and tweet it with the hashtag #OAM18 Connect.... Read More
             

The Challenge of Curbing Smoking in Native American Communities

by Kevyn Burger. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.

Mary Owl still remembers her first cigarette, puffed when she was 13 years old.

“I was never so high in my life,” recalled Owl, now 58. “I inhaled, got dizzy and then sick to my stomach.”

A tribal citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Owl lit up the day she arrived at a boarding school in rural Oklahoma.

Away from home for the first time, the lonely teen was susceptible to peer pressure.

“I was in the bathroom with some girls I’d just met. They asked me if I smoked and I said, ‘sure,’” Owl said. “I went back to my dorm and.... Read More

             
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