Center for Native American Health

MSC07 4246
1001 Medical Arts Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Physical Location:
Integrity Building
2nd Floor

Phone: (505) 272-4100
Fax: (505) 272-6019

Introduction to Working With American Indians in New Mexico

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The CNAH has the great privilege to work, connect, and partner with the Navajo Nation and various Pueblo communities of the southwest. The CNAH has provided education and knowledge in Community Health Assessment (CHA), technical assistance and mentorship around CHAs, group facilitation, and research mentorship opportunities for students.

New Mexico American Indian History

New Mexico is the gateway to the 23 Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations, who have lived extensively throughout the Southwest before the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500’s.  The rich and vibrant history and culture of each of the 23 Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations continue to be celebrated today in the ceremonial dances, arts & crafts, languages, and the surrounding landscapes. While the hunter-gatherers and nomadic lifestyles dominated their earlier ancestors’ lives, the NM Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations of today have experienced many changes that have greatly improved the social, economic, and health status of their populations. 

Contemporary

Today’s improvements in the 23 Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations are a result of Tribal Leaders utilizing Tribal Sovereignty towards Self-Governance, and Self-Determination. Tribal Sovereignty has its roots in history and have existed with the 23 Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations before the coming of the first Spanish explorers, and is recognition of the unique political entities and status that each Tribe, Pueblo, and Nation has with separate and independent governing authority within their territory. They are, in essence, nations within nations. 

Tribal Sovereignty

Tribal Sovereignty ensures that New Mexico’s 23 Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations enjoy a significant degree of independence and Self-Determination in their decision-making and governance over: their own laws and policies; interaction with federal, state and local government; engagement in business, commercial, and governmental activities; and administering a wide range of public services - law enforcement, housing, social services, elder care, environmental protection, and health and safety programs. Tribal Sovereignty also helps to preserve and protect their unique cultural heritage.

The Center for Native American Health honors and respect this unique status and right of each of New Mexico’s 23 Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations, as well as those Indigenous Tribes that have elected to call New Mexico their home.