November is National American Indian Heritage Month and we’re kicking it off with the story of an organization I see on my daily walks, the Native American Health Center.
Founded in 1972 and located in Oakland, California, the Native American Health Center (NAHC) is “a community health center serving the California Bay Area Native Population and other under-served populations in the Bay Area.” As their website explains, their mission is “to provide comprehensive services to improve the health and wellbeing of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and residents of the surrounding communities with respect to cultural and linguistic differences.” All are welcome, regardless of tribal affiliations, ethnicity, or ability to pay.
Services include medical, dental, and behavioral health and follow a holistic model of care that responds to people’s physical, emotional, spiritual, and social service needs. NAHC serves over 14,000 members each year in these departments.
The Community Wellness Department provides services and events such as cultural groups (beading, sewing, drumming, Aztec Dance, etc.), traditional healing activities, and workforce development. They also run programs for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and School-Based Health Centers located in eight campuses around the East Bay. In addition to all of this, the NAHC is a both community testing site and vaccination center for Covid-19.
If you want to help ensure that the Native American Health Center can offer culturally informed programming to the American Indian community in the Bay Area, support them with a donation. You can also raise awareness of their work by amplifying them on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @7Gen1D.