Healthy Nations Initiative

Helping Native Americans reduce the harm caused by substance abuse in their communities


The Healthy Nations Initiative was funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help Native Americans reduce the harm caused by substance abuse in their communities. The goal of the initiative was to demonstrate that tribes and communities can, over time, achieve substantial reductions in the demand for -- and consequently the use of -- alcohol and other harmful substances, including tobacco and illegal drugs. The initiative provided funding to 14 tribes and organizations to support the development of community-wide efforts to combat substance abuse that integrate public awareness campaigns, prevention programs, and services for treatment, aftercare, and support. Particular emphasis was on prevention and early intervention with respect to the use of alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco among youth. Incorporation of traditional cultural values was a key component of the Healthy Nations Initiative.

Under this six-year, two-stage competitive initiative, which began in December 1993, the Foundation made nearly $13.5 million available to Native American tribes and community organizations serving Indian people. In the first stage, two-year development/feasibility grants of up to $150,000 each were awarded to as many as 15 tribes or community organizations. All grantees successfully completing the development/feasibility phase were eligible for four-year project implementation grants of up to $1 million each.



  • Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
  • Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of the Cheyenne River Reservation
  • Confederated Salish & Kootenai of the Flathead Reservation
  • Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
  • Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina
  • Friendship House Association of American Indians
  • Minneapolis American Indian Center
  • Northwest New Mexico Fighting Back
  • Norton Sound Health Corporation
  • Seattle Indian Health Board
  • United Indian Health Services
  • White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation



Explore the summary of each grantee program and their accomplishments through funding from the Healthy Nations Initiative.

Healthy Nations Initiative: Summary of Grantees and their Accomplishments

Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health

Colorado School of Public Health

CU Anschutz

Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Building

13055 East 17th Avenue

Mail Stop F800

Aurora, CO 80045

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