National Native American Heritage
Leading the Way to a Healthier Future
The National Institutes of Health celebrates November as National Native American Heritage as we remain deeply committed to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our research and workplace.
A Message from the Principal Strategist, Ashley Wells (Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation):
Heritage month celebrations such as Native American Heritage Month are important to providing a safe space to teach and learn about diversity and inclusion. During this time we pay tribute to the many contributions made by American Indians and Alaska Natives. The purpose of this space is to provide the opportunity to recognize the complexities of Native American identity from career advancement to popular culture. We must also acknowledge both achievements and struggles within the Native American community in order to lead the way to a healthier future for all. Our hope in EDI is to continue to acknowledge the contributions and work to help eliminate discrimination throughout the year. #EDI365
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
— Chief Seattle, 1854
Champions of Diversity at NIH
Pioneer in Medicine
Susan La Flesche Picotte
First Native American Woman M.D.
The first woman physician among her people, La Flesche received her medical degree from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1889. She graduated at the top of her class and earned an internship at the Woman’s Hospital in Philadelphia. From August of 1889 to October 1893, she served on the Omaha Reservation in Nebraska as a physician to her tribe, finally resigning for health reasons.
Doing the Work
with Ashley Wells
Part of changing the culture is staying informed.
Our promise is to provide advancement opportunities and improve employment experiences for all individuals in the Federal service. The Native American Portfolio works to identify systemic causes of discrimination experienced by Native Americans through barrier analysis. In partnership with tribal colleges, universities, and professional organization, we create strategy for advancing Native Americans at the NIH on the basis of their merit, skills, and talent.
This is where you enter the conversation. We need your collaboration and voice to create long-term change. We need all NIH employees involved to ensure NIH is truly inclusive. Stay informed by connect with us on social media to learn about opportunities and diversity related initiatives at the NIH.
Everything on earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.
- Mourning Dove