A Landmark Meeting: HIV/AIDS Coalition of American Indians, Alaska Natives & Native Hawaiians Bring Native HIV/AIDS Concerns to Washington DC
White House Meeting Photo (left to right): Kory Montoya (Jicarilla Apache), Jeffery Crowley (Director ONAP), Melvin Harrison (Navajo), Carolyn Kuali`i (Native Hawaiian/Apache), Pamela Jumper Thurman (Western Cherokee), Kimberly Teehee (Obama’s Senior Policy Advisor for NA Affairs/Cherokee), Harlan Pruden (Cree) and Sharon Day (Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe)
WASHIGNTON, DC – MAY 4, 2010 – After twenty-nine years into the HIV epidemic a federal inter-agency meeting was held with Indigenous Peoples. This historical meeting focused solely on Native HIV/AIDS issues with representatives of a National Coalition of 30 American Indian, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian HIV/AIDS community-based organizations and programs. This meeting discussed the need for Native inclusion in HIV funding, programs and service priorities. The Coalition’s overall objectives were to bring a Native face and voice to the domestic HIV epidemic: A face that has been invisible and a voice that has not been heard as a result of poor Native HIV/AIDS data collection. The Office of Minority Health Resource Center facilitated this meeting, which was attended by: Indian Health Service (IHS); Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the National Institute of Health (NIH); the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD).