Indigenous Health Impact Assessment Toolkit

The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership (HEP) is excited to share the Indigenous Health Impact Assessment (HIA) toolkit to support communities to reclaim narratives and inform policy and systems change to ensure the health and well-being of current and future generations and mother earth. Too often, Indigenous communities must adapt their programs and policies to Western approaches. It is important for non-Native people who work with Indigenous communities to understand how Indigenous values and approaches are effective in improving health policies, alongside Native community leaders. HEP in collaboration with Olivia Roanhorse and Roanhorse Consulting, HEP staff and HIA Technical Assistance Providers, and community partners co-designed the Indigenous HIA toolkit during 2019 – 2021. The toolkit is designed to acknowledge and uplift inherent Indigenous knowledge, strengths, and approaches; complement HIA processes and planning; and provide a powerful set of tools for Native communities to strengthen the health and wellbeing of future generations. The toolkit is grounded in Indigenous values and worldviews and is not meant to be prescriptive. Recognizing the great diversity of Indigenous communities, HEP invites communities to tailor and Indigenize the HIA process for their respective community based on their unique gifts, strengths, and traditions. The toolkit provides examples of Indigenous led HIA’s and resources, as well as people of color led HIA efforts and resources in New Mexico. The Indigenous HIA toolkit is for researchers, policymakers, community leaders, and the public who want to focus decision-makers on the impacts of policies, laws, resources, development and social interventions – from Indigenous perspectives. Indigenous communities and HIA efforts are primary in this toolkit. HEP welcomes other communities to use or adapt this work for structural and systemic policy changes, too.

What partners are saying about the toolkit: “The HEP Indigenous Health Impact Assessment toolkit is an example of best practices of working with; listening to; and shifting resources to reflect not only NMHEP’s core values but most importantly, the consideration of cultural and traditional nuances across New Mexico’s diverse geography & demographics. The toolkit is the embodiment of true community leadership and engagement. It is the result of many years of committed work to transform a “formal” process to a culturally familiar way of organizing for power. Bravo, NMHEP! Congratulations on the creation of a truly beautiful, accessible and necessary toolkit!”– María Gallegos, HIA TA Provider & former HEP team member.

Co-designers of the toolkit: Olivia Roanhorse and Roanhorse Consulting; Valerie Rangel, HIA TA Provider; David Gaussoin and Jessica Espinoza-Jensen, HEP staff; contributions from HEP HIA TA Providers (Christina Morris, María Gallegos, Estefany Gonzalez Carrasco, and Mahdi Hossaini), HIA teams (MCHE, SJCHE, SFIC, etc.), and Indigenous community partners. Michelle Buchholz designed the Indigenous HIA graphic. Edits and formatting by Terry Schleder, HIA TA Provider. See full list of acknowledgements on the last page of the toolkit presentation.

Indigenous HIA toolkit Presentation (PDF)