We build our strategy and programming through enduring partnerships with tribes, urban Indian health centers, and Native-led organizations. 

Montana is home to federally-recognized tribes on seven reservations, one state-recognized tribe, and a large urban Indian population. In a 2014 report on the health of Montanans, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services documented severe health disparities among American Indians living in Montana. The report found that American Indians in Montana die at a median age of 50 years (more than 20 years earlier than non-Indian Montanans). Death rates for specific illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses, injuries, and suicide are substantially higher as well. Statistics such as these are only a starting point for understanding the health challenges facing American Indians in Montana. These health disparities are rooted in longstanding challenges, including poverty and unemployment, racial discrimination and historical trauma, inadequate housing, and food insecurity, among others.

Funding Opportunities

We are currently accepting two types of grant proposals: competitive grants submitted under our 2020 Call for Proposals and invited grants submitted under our specific American Indian Health Initiatives, which include:

NOTE: Only tribes, tribal health departments, and urban Indian health centers (members of the American Indian Health Leaders group) are eligible for invited initiative grants.

Strengthening American Indian Health Services

Reducing American Indian Health Disparities

Our Work in American Indian Health

American Indian Health Grantees

Mountain Shadow Association

Kaala's Village Development Project

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $50,000

Mountain Shadow Association (MSA) will move a planned family healing center on the Crow reservation (Kaala’s Village) from the feasibility study phase into the development phase. MSA will hire a supportive housing consultant to help them with the development. The project will be informed and guided by a community-based advisory board that will meet monthly to receive updates on the developer’s work plan progress and ensure that the project remains grounded in the values, needs, and vision of the community and remains focused on meeting the immediate integrated health care needs of local families. Grant funds will be used to convene the advisory board and contract with BeauxSimone Consulting to assist MSA and the advisory board in solidifying a development team, finalizing the concept plan, identifying a property management company, and securing additional funding for Kaala’s Village (‘Kaala’ is the Crow word for ‘grandmother’). Partners that are committed to participating in the advisory board include the Apsaalooke Nation Housing Authority, the City of Lodge Grass, Plenty Doors Community Develop Corps, the Casey Family Foundation, Big Horn Valley Health Center, Tribal Legislative Health and Human Services Committee, Tribal IQWA Coordinator, Indian Health Services, Lodge Grass Schools PTO, peer support specialists, USDA Rural Development, and Meadowlark Counseling. The grantee hopes to create a final conceptual model that can support a successful capital campaign and integrate appropriate partners, resulting in the full implementation of Kaala’s Village.

 

Helena Indian Alliance

Integrated Behavioral Health for Urban Indian Center

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021

Grant Amount: $150,000

Helena Indian Alliance will implement integrated behavioral health in their primary care clinic and behavioral health department. As part of this project, they will perform evidence-based screenings for behavioral health disorders in their primary care clinic, train their staff on screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for substance use disorders (SBIRT). They will also implement integrated services and make referrals for behavioral health on the same day that a patient presents to the medical clinic. The warm handoff model will be used for primary care as well as behavioral health to ensure treatment for the whole person at each visit. Grant funds will be used for training and implementation of the project, hiring a care coordinator or behavioral health provider for the clinic, providing psychiatric consultation, and developing sustainability. The project’s goal is for the integrated behavioral health model to be a permanent and lasting resource in the clinic and community.

University of Montana

Improving Access, Training, and Recruitment for American Indian Health Care

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $97,359

The University of Montana will work to improve care for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in Montana by increasing cultural awareness among medical students and improving access to care for specific medical services. Medical residents and health professions students at the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana and the University of Montana will learn cultural humility through the development of a didactic curriculum for both learners and practicing professionals, as well as an immersion clinical experience at the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) Tribal Health. The clinical experience will enhance cultural training and allow active recruitment of residents and students to work in AI/AN health care upon graduation. This project will also development models for new services to be provided by resident and faculty physicians at CSKT Tribal Health, beginning with maternal and obstetrical care. New services will help to address current barriers to care experienced by Tribal Health recipients. Grant funds will help develop curricula, provide resources for the creation of new models of care, and improve and expand the clinical training opportunities in AI/AN settings. This will help meet the overall goal of improving care for one of Montana’s largest underserved populations.

Families First Children's Museum

Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribe Family Education Services

Project Term: 12 months; 2019-2020
Grant Amount: $26,118

The Families First Children’s Museum (FFCM) will provide family education classes and resources for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal (CSKT) community intended to foster healing and help develop resilient communities. The project will introduce new, relevant, and evidence-based curricula within three separate tracks: parents/caregivers, foster parents, and childcare providers. Funding will be used to hire native instructors and support curriculum development. Through current partnerships with CSKT, the Department of Human Resource Development, and Salish Kootenai College, as well as growth in collaboration with the Tribal Health Department, Tribal Education Department, local childcare providers, and organizations like the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, FFCM’s work will extend to reach more families and create connections between parent education skill development and a stronger family resource network.

Center Pole

Using All Parts of the Buffalo: Better Reservation Health through Food Rescue and Recovery

Project Term: 24 months; 2019-2021
Grant Amount: $100,000

Center Pole will collect fresh foods from Billings that are near expiration and distribute them to the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations. This collection and distribution will be done through a system created and implemented by the Center Pole’s community food interns. Funding will be used to pay the food interns and for transportation costs and storage as well as for Center Pole’s traditional food production. Partners for this project include Crow Abundance is Here, a local community collaboration whose member organizations include the National Center for Appropriate Technology, Plenty Doors, Messengers for Health, Crow Tribal Health, Little Big Horn College, the USDA, AmeriCorps, and Food Corps Montana. Other partners include the Crow and Northern Cheyenne elders and Billings Family Service. The goal of this project is to assist the Crow and Northern Cheyenne in healing themselves through food and creating a healthy sustainable food economy that is culturally relevant, reflects traditional values of reciprocity, self-sufficiency, team work, sharing, and zero waste and leads to better health and longer lives.