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Alabama Indian/AK Native

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The majority of American Indians in the United States are now living in cities and not on reservations. Federal health care policy continues to focus, largely, on the needs of those living on reservations in rural areas. Alabama is consistent with this national trend. Only two of the nine Indian tribes in Alabama live on reservations. Only one of the nine Indian tribes in Alabama, the Poarch Band Creek Indians, is federally recognized and receives health services via the Federal Government, Indian Health Services. Only one of the eight State Recognized Tribes, the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians, has a health care facility located on their reservation. These latter two tribes are able to monitor health trends and potentially prepare preventive strategies based upon health assessments and screening results.

The other seven State Recognized Tribes, are profiled in a document (the link is shown below); and they have identified their usual source of medical care as community-based, private pay, insured, or uninsured. Their Tribal members are located throughout the state. This unique characteristic made it difficult to systematically retrieve health data, due to the lack of a uniform health services tracking system. Many of the Alabama's Indians health services are based upon a combination of traditional healing practices and modern Western medicine. For several years, we have heard the request for more inclusion of Indian people in the state's statistical health reports. We know that health data for American Indians is often aggregated with data for "others" so that real differences in outcomes have become obscured. There is a need for true statistical data analysis. However, the small numbers of tribal populations located in Alabama have made it difficult to provide a uniform and readily accessible health care system where the data can be retrieved.

Nine Tribes of Alabama American Indians

  • The Poarch Band of Creeks* (the only Alabama Indian Tribe that is federally recognized and receives health services via the Indian Health Services Division of the Federal Government)
  • The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians* (a health care facility is located on this reservation)
  • The Star Clan of Muscogee Creeks
  • The Echota Cherokees of Alabama
  • The Cherokees of Northeast Alabama
  • The Cherokees of Southeast Alabama
  • The Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe
  • The Piqua Sept of Ohio Shawnee Tribe
  • United Cherokee Ani-Yun-Wiya Nation

*The survey does not include these Tribes, due to their abilities to screen, monitor and assess health status and provide preventive strategies to Tribal members.

In 2006, a document was designed to survey the health of Alabama American Indians. The results contained in the survey profiles the risk factors, health status and lifestyle behaviors for the seven of nine Alabama Indian Tribes.* These health findings have been published in a self-reported survey entitled, Health Survey of American Indians of Alabama 2008. (4.2MB)

Page last updated: May 13, 2021