Project Code: IHS-USA-6

Health, Culture, and Economic Status of International Native or Indigenous Peoples

Project Title Health, Culture, and Economic Status of International Native or Indigenous Peoples
Project Summary Description of the health and social status of native or indigenous peoples in select areas of the world to help gain an international perspective on such peoples who live in Central Asia, Africa, and South America.
Country United States
Agency Indian Health Service
DoS Office N/A
Post N/A
Section N/A
Number of Interns 9
Project Description

The mission of IHS is raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska natives (AI/AN) to the highest level. To be responsive to the second goal of the 2019-2023 strategic plan, "to promote excellence and quality through innovation of the Indian health system into an optimally performing organization," the Division of Program Statistics in the Office of Public Health needs to continue its work in discovering new information concerning native peoples throughout the world. International studies of the health of native (or indigenous) peoples provide essential public health insights. Reliable data are required for the development of policy and health services.

A landmark 2016 paper in which IHS participated, "Indigenous and tribal peoples' health (The Lancet–Lowitja Institute Global Collaboration): a population study," studied 23 states and 28 indigenous peoples within those states. The methods used for that paper overturned the idea that such groups always fare more poorly than benchmark populations. The coverage of nations or the range of health indicators had been limited in earlier works.

Our objective is to expand upon the work already done in a description of the health and social status of native or indigenous peoples in new areas of the world. Much was learned in the first year of this effort, and a new group of people is needed to focus on areas of the world left incompletely mapped. One aspect of this effort is a study of the unique demographic, social, geographic, and cultural character of these groups. Also, the work of the group will be to find and eventually bind together expert collaborators who have studied and understood well the peoples of Collaborators with expertise in Indigenous health data systems will be sought for each country. Data on population, spatial distribution, culture, economics, and health will be obtained. DPS is responsible for producing the publications, Trends in Indian Health and Regional Differences in Indian this link Fluency in a language other than English (see list in additional information) equivalent to an advanced level is needed.

Required Skills or Interests
Analytical writing
Cultural diplomacy
Data analysis
Data visualization
Economic analysis
Additional Information

The areas to be studied in the year include those in Central Asia, the Atlas Mountains of North Africa (Berber), Middle and Nilosudanic Africa, and Central and Eastern South American nations such as Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, and those in the Guianan Shield (Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname). In Central Asia, speakers of Uzbek, Karakalpak, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Turkmen, and Uighur will be studied. In Middle and Nilosudanic Africa, many nations will be studied including the Amhara, Banda, Gbaya, Kanuri, Kongo, Luba, Mashi, Mongo, Oromo, Sara, and Zande. Other languages of interest to the work will include: Arabic, Dutch, French, Quechua, and Russian.

All you need to begin is to know one language fairly well and to be interested in learning about how tribes live and are affected culturally and socioeconomically as a result of just having their identity and their ways. You won't get stuck in learning in just one area or researching one aspect of one people. There will constantly be new groups formed. Now, if you find something you really want to dive deeply into, we will find a way for you to do it. Any of the languages listed are a good start, and remember, some languages we might need are not taught anywhere.