Indigenous Health Indicators Tool
For many indigenous communities, the issue of how health is defined and assessed in policies and regulations is a high priority because of the considerable environmental public health risks they face due to the destruction of the natural resources that comprise their homelands.
The Indigenous Health Indicators (IHIs) are meant to provide a clear and broadly understandable depiction of what it means to be healthy for many indigenous communities, as well as a method for evaluating the status of health and well-being. The IHIs expand the often narrow scope of many current health regulations and policies that views risks and impacts as objective measures of physiological morbidity or mortality outcomes, but does not otherwise connect them to ecosystem health or social and cultural beliefs and values integral to indigenous definitions of health. By constructing a more complex, narrative set of indicators beyond the physiological for indigenous communities, a more accurate picture of health status is gained with which to better evaluate and manage public environmental health risks and impacts.
The approach of this Indigenous Health Indicators tool focuses on the Coast Salish ways. The developers believe that the concepts, objectives, and the IHI tool itself are germane for indigenous communities facing climate change impacts around the world.