Indigenous Community Health

Widoktadwen Center for Native Knowledge presents our first annual Indigenous Wellness Celebration on Saturday, June 3rd at Riverfront Park in Reading, PA. Learn about Native American approaches to health and wellness and connect with local resources.

Event is FREE and open to ALL!


Thanks to our Giveaway Sponsor, Wildcraft Landscapes!

We offer community health support for the local Indigenous community and any others who are seeking healthy relationships with themselves, their environment, and their communities.

Tobacco Free Living

Tobacco is one of our first medicines–a gift from our Creator. But many folks have turned from traditional knowledge and practices and learned to abuse commercial tobacco. We wanted to find a way to promote quitting commercial tobacco while at the same time honoring the sacred relationship of our Indigenous traditions. We were honored to partner with the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Center to update our tobacco-free policy. to reflect our commitment to clean air, good health, and honoring the sacred.

Pennie Assistance

Need assistance finding health insurance on the public marketplace? We can help! We are a proud Pennie Community Partner. Meet with a certified Pennie Assister to help you search for and enroll in a Pennsylvania health plan of your choice. There is no charge for this service, and we work for you–not any insurance company.

The following information about expanded healthcare access for American Indians/Alaska Natives is from the Indian Health Service website.

The Affordable Care Act and the Indian Health Service

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as the health care law, was created to expand access to coverage, control health care costs, and improve health care quality and coordination. The ACA also includes permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which extends current law and authorizes new programs and services within the Indian Health Service.

The Affordable Care Act and American Indians and Alaska Natives

For American Indians and Alaska Natives, the ACA will help address health disparities by investing in prevention and wellness and increasing access to affordable health coverage.

The ACA provides American Indians and Alaska Natives with more choices; depending on your eligibility and the coverage available in your state, you can:

  • Continue to use IHS, tribal, and/or urban Indian health programs
  • Enroll in a qualified health plan (QHP) through the Marketplace
  • Access coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program

If you choose to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may qualify for special benefits and protections offered to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The following information comes from the website.

Medicaid & CHIP for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are available to qualifying federally recognized American Indians and Alaska Natives. These programs provide better access to services that a local Indian health clinic might not be able to provide.

You can apply for Medicaid or CHIP even if you filed for an exemption from the shared responsibility payment.

To learn how to apply for these programs, visit our Medicaid & CHIP page.

Your Medicaid and CHIP rights and protections

If you’re eligible for services from the Indian Health Service (also known as an Indian hospital or Public Health Service (PHS)), tribal health programs (also known as tribal 638 programs or tribal health clinics), or urban Indian programs (known as I/T/Us), including Contract Health Services:

  • You don’t have to pay Medicaid premiums or enrollment fees.
  • You don’t have to pay out-of-pocket costs like copaymentscoinsurance, and deductibles for Medicaid services.
  • In CHIP, you don’t have any out-of-pocket costs.
  • Certain Indian resources and payments aren’t counted for Medicaid and CHIP eligibility, making it easier for some people to qualify.

You can continue to get services through an I/T/U even if the I/T/U is not a provider in your program’s managed care network.

Verifying your tribal status

Applicants may need to provide documentation of U. S. citizenship. The following documents meet the requirements:

  • A document issued by a federally recognized tribe indicating tribal membership
  • An enrollment card
  • A certificate of degree of Indian blood issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • A tribal census document
  • Any document indicating affiliation with the tribe

Medicaid and CHIP agencies may accept an individual’s attestation regarding Indian status. If the Medicaid or CHIP agency requires documents, American Indians and Alaska Natives may need to prove Indian status or eligibility for services from an Indian health provider.

See the list of federally recognized tribes.

Have other questions about Indigenous health and wellness? Email for assistance.

Other Indigenous Health Resource Links

Urban Indian Health Institute
Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health
Indian Health Service
First Nations Development Institute
Native Wellness Institute
Urban Indigenous Collective
National Council of Urban Indian Health
Center for Native American Youth
Healthy Native Youth
White Bison

SAMHSA American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN): Office of Tribal Affairs
Sovereign Bodies Institute
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
Native American Lifelines of Baltimore
National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
National Urban Indian Family Coalition
New York Indian Council, Inc.
We R Native

International Association for Indigenous Aging
National Indian Council on Aging
National Resource Center on Native American Aging
Tribal Epidemiology Centers
American Indian Cancer Foundation
Native American Cancer Research
Native American Initiatives – National Cancer Institute
International Association for Indigenous Aging
National Resource Center on Native American Aging
National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
USDVA Native Americans and HIV Resources American Indians and Alaska Natives Resources
IHS Maternal and Child Health Resources
IHS Tobacco Prevention Campaign
National Native Network
CDC: American Indians/Alaska Natives and Tobacco Use
National Indian Health Board
Association of American Indian Physicians
Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

Indian Country ECHO
Indigenous Peoples Task Force
Two Feathers Native American Family Services

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