Belcourt: Indian Country takes path of healthy living

"We face many health challenges in Indian Country - diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and depression, as well as the scourges of alcoholism and methamphetamine abuse.

Last month, representatives and concerned members from across Indian Country in Montana and Wyoming made their way to Billings for our eighth annual Tribal Health Conference. An unmitigated success, more than 200 people participated in the three-day forum and lecture at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Billings.

Working in conjunction with the Billings Area Indian Health Service, the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council put forth an aggressive agenda to touch not only on these aforementioned crucial health issues, but also on an even greater one - preventive medicine.

To emphasize this theme, we began every day of the conference at 7:30 a.m. We joined American Indians and Alaska Natives across the nation in the "Just Move It" campaign to promote and improve physical activity among Natives. The goal is to get 1 million of us walking daily to improve our health, and it highlights the need for all of us to take greater personal responsibility for our health."

Get the Story:
Gordon Belcourt: Indian Country unites for health (The Billings Gazette 4/28)

Relevant Links:
Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council -

Related Stories:
Montana and Wyoming tribes host health conference (04/06)
Montana lawmaker presses for health care funding (4/5)
Opinion: U.S. failing to provide Indian health care (3/22)
Kara Briggs: The fight to reauthorize IHCIA (3/21)
Urban Indians hurt by IHS policy in Montana (3/20)
Health care push continues at House hearing (3/19)
DOJ's Indian white paper a political whodunit (3/14)
House hearing on Indian Health Care Improvement (3/14)
Urban Indians under attack over health care (3/12)
Fireworks at Indian health care hearing (3/9)
Senate hearing on Indian Health reauthorization (3/8)
Urban Indians in New Mexico feel left out on health (3/8)
Some urban Indians denied care at request of IHS (3/8)
Indian Health Care Act introduced in House (3/7)
Hearings on Indian Health Care Improvement Act (3/5)
Democrats promise action at USET conference (2/14)
Harjo: GOP calls Indian health care 'race-based' (2/12)
Tribes forced to ration funds for health services (2/2)
Interview: Inadequate health care in Indian Country (01/16)
Joint hearing on Indian health care act postponed (11/14)
Final push for health care bill in 109th Congress (11/13)
White House hit over delays in health care and Cobell (10/05)
Still no Indian Health Care Improvement Act (09/22)
New Standard: U.S. failing to deliver health care (7/18)
Senate panel advances Indian health care measure (10/28)
Senate committee takes up slate of Indian bills (10/27)
Hearing on Indian Health Care Improvement Act (07/13)
Oklahoma senator loses Indian health care vote (06/29)