Tribal Public and Environmental Health Think Tank

"Tobacco: Honoring our Traditions and our Health” depicts tobacco prevention efforts in Wisconsin Tribal communities, highlighting the importance of reclaiming traditional tobacco. Learn more...

Everyone deserves the opportunity for good health. Many American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes across the United States are finding their traditional ways of life disrupted by poor housing conditions, barriers to educational achievement, poverty, historical trauma, and racism. All of these factors – compounded by environmental hazards, geospatial challenges and limited access or proximity to health care or medical services – lead to poor health outcomes.

We are champions for and connect partners to the Tribal Public and Environmental Health Think Tank, a group composed of professionals with diverse backgrounds in tribal public and environmental health. The Think Tank is focused on increasing education and awareness of the unique public and environmental health challenges faced by tribal communities, and achieving improvements to these issues.

The six tribal public and environmental health priorities identified by the Think Tank are: 1. Food Sovereignty and Access | 2. Infrastructure and Systems Development | 3. Climate and Health | 4. Resource Extraction | 5. Clean Air | 6. Clean Water



TOBACCO: HONORING OUR TRADITIONS AND OUR HEALTH  — This short video produced by the Think Tank discusses the differences between commercial tobacco and traditional, sacred tobacco in many tribal communities. The video highlights successful smoke-free initiatives in Wisconsin, including an outdoor Ojibwe cultural event center and a Ho-Chunk gaming casino that have implemented smoke-free policies. 


  • Digital Stories: members of the Think Tank tell us what motivates them and their hopes for the future.
  • Nurturing Home: Empowering a Lakota Community on Pine Ridge Reservation (PDF): Driven to empower and improve the wellbeing of the Oglala Lakota people of Pine Ridge Reservation, Oglala-led nonprofit Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation initiated a community-led design process. Through diverse partnerships and innovative programs, this dream is becoming a reality.
  • Sacredness of Place: this short video highlights the unique relationship between Tribal communities and their environments and steps Think Tank members are taking to improve environmental conditions and health outcomes.

Questions? Please contact Kate Robb.

Our priorities (read the full report)

Our priorities (read the fact sheet)