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Tribal public health and the law : selected resources
  • Published Date:
    May 31, 2016
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-438.59 KB]

  • Personal Authors:
  • Corporate Authors:
    Public Health Law Program (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)) ; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.). Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support. ;
  • Description:
    Tribal Public Health Governance and Codes -- Indian Health Policy -- Public Health Data and Surveillance -- Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities -- Chronic Disease Prevention -- Emergency Preparedness -- Environmental Health -- Infectious Disease -- Injury Prevention and Control -- Occupational Health and Safety Tribal Public Health Law Research Support -- Acknowledgments and Disclaimers.

    American Indian and Alaska Native tribes are sovereign nations that maintain a government-to-government relationship with the United States. There are currently 567 federally recognized tribes throughout the contiguous United States and Alaska. In addition to exercising political sovereignty, tribes exercise cultural sovereignty through traditions and religious practices unique to each tribe’s history and culture. Cultural sovereignty “encompasses the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical aspects” of Native people’s lives and is a foundation to tribal exercise of political sovereignty.

    In the context of public health, tribes have inherent authority as sovereign nations to protect and promote the health and welfare of their citizens, using methods most relevant for their communities. Tribal inherent authority is a “plenary and exclusive power over their members and their territory, subject only to limitations imposed by federal law,” and includes the power to determine the form of tribal government and the power to legislate and tax, among others.

    The following resources describe and discuss topics related to tribal public health law.7 The resources include general ones related to Indian health policy and tribal public health law, as well as substantive legal discussions of public health topics that relate to tribes or American Indian and Alaska Native

    This document was developed by Aila Hoss, JD, Carter Consulting, Inc. contractor with the Public Health Law Program (PHLP) within the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The author would like to thank PHLP Director Matthew Penn, JD, MLIS, for his editorial assistance.


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