2013 National Native American Heritage Month

HHS: 11/4/13

A statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Each November, we recognize National Native American Heritage Month – celebrating the diverse histories and cultures of American Indian and Alaska Native people. This year’s theme, “Guiding Our Destiny with Heritage and Traditions: Leading the Way to Healthier Nations,” speaks to the vital role that cultural heritage plays in strengthening families and communities. 

In July, I had the opportunity to visit the Navajo Nation in Arizona and meet with key leaders to discuss the health concerns of the Navajo.  I attended a Special Session of the Navajo Nation Council and heard from the delegates about health issues such as diabetes, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. I also visited the Indian Health Service (IHS) Gallup Indian Medical Center, which was recently designated as a Level III Trauma Center, the first in the Indian health system. IHS work at this center, and throughout Indian Country, saves countless lives every year. Read more