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Gaps and Strategies for Improving American Indian/Alaska Native/Native American Data

Publication Date

Prepared for: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

Office of Human Services Policy

This report is a component of ASPEs Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans project.

Prepared by: Westat Contract No. 233-02-0087

This report was produced under the direction of Alana Landey and Peggy Halpern, Task Order Officers, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Office of Human Services Policy, Jerry Regier, Principal Deputy/Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

Executive Summary (in PDF format, 7 pages)


This report was prepared by Westat and the American Indian Health Research Program, Black Hills State University. The principal authors are Kathryn Langwell, Cynthia Helba, and Craig Love. Peggy Halpern and Alana Landey of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), served as Task Order Officers for this effort and provided input and guidance for the project. Canta Pian, Division Director, Economic Support for Families/ASPE, also provided review and comment on this report.

Three members of the DHHS Data Councils Racial and Ethnic Data Working Group  Audrey Burwell, Dale Hitchcock, and Edna Paisano  served on a project workgroup and provided guidance to the project as well as review of this report. Additionally, several members of an American Indian, Alaska Native, and other Native American workgroup provided input and review during the course of the project including David Wong representing the IHS Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention, Ralph Bryan representing the CDC Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities and the IHS Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention, David Simmons representing the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and Lisa Oshiro representing the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

Numerous knowledgeable individuals at DHHS, the Census Bureau, and other federal and non-federal organizations gave generously of their time to ensure that we had complete and up-to-date information on existing surveys, databases and initiatives that are underway and planned that will improve AI/AN/NA data. We also benefited from input from several external consultants to the project, including Gordon Belcourt, Executive Director of the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council; Carole Anne Heart, Executive Director of the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmens Health Board; Jeff Henderson, President of the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health; Lilia Kapunai, Vice President of Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement; and Frank Ryan, independent consultant.


American Indian & Alaska Native People (AI-AN)