American Indian/Alaska Native Dialogue

To address the unique challenges of increasing the numbers of people being screened for colorectal cancer in Indian Country, the Foundation worked with 10 American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) teams across the nation for more than one and one-half years (2007-2008).

In May 2007, the teams gathered in Portland, OR, for the American Indian/Alaska Native Working Meeting on Colorectal Cancer Screening: A Dialogue for Action. The two-day meeting provided a forum to discuss how to decrease colorectal cancer in their communities by increasing awareness, education and screening. At the end of the meeting, the teams had drafted action plans to implement in their communities. Team outcomes ranged from awareness campaigns and elder luncheons to pilot studies on screening and follow-up rates. Since 2008, teams have continued to make progess towards their colorectal cancer screening goals. Click here to read 2012 team updates.

The Foundation would like to thank the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, C-Change and the Intercultural Cancer Council for their support of this project.

In November 2008, the Foundation held a Capstone meeting for the 10 project teams, where we looked back at the accomplishments, looked ahead at next steps. Participants included representatives from the:

  • National Indian Health Board
  • National Council of Urban Indian Health
  • National Congress of American Indians
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

The Foundation also worked with Minnesota in 2007-2008. Minnesota is the first and only state to hold a Dialoguefocused on colorectal cancer in Indian country. This focus was chosen because American Indians in Minnesota have among the highest rates of colorectal cancer in the nation and among all racial and ethnic groups in Minnesota. TheColorectal Cancer in Minnesota American Indians: An Intertribal Dialogue for ActionTM was held Sept. 11-12, 2007, at Grand Casino Mille Lacs, and provided a venue for over 70 tribal leaders, public health officials, and community members to discuss the unequal burden of colorectal cancer among American Indians in Minnesota and how they can work collectively to combat colorectal cancer among this population.

Call to Action to Increase CRC Screening in AI/AN Communities
We are continuing to build momentum to increase CRC screening in Indian Country, with a Call to Action, which includes a Resolution form that can be signed by organizations supportive of this call. The National Indian Health Board and the Cherokee Nation have already signed it.

To learn about our AI/AN Initiatives, click here.