United States Department of Health and Human Services


Outreach Activities and Resources

National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

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Sacred Root: Native American Information Fellowship Program

Project/Program Dates: 2002 - ongoing

The Native American Information Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for representatives from American Indian tribes, Native Alaskan villages, and the Native Hawaiian community to learn about the National Library of Medicine, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and to use that knowledge to improve access to health information and health information technology for their communities.

This program provides:

  • Training in the use of information resources
  • Instruction in managing information outreach projects
  • Opportunities for additional training and conference attendance
  • Information about potential funding opportunities, and most importantly
  • Connection with people and programs that might provide support and assistance in the future

Two fellows, preferably with complementary backgrounds in health and information technology, are selected from a tribe, organization or community. They spend two weeks at NLM in standard training classes and meetings with a wide variety of staff. During the year, the fellows continue their professional duties with their respective tribes or organizations, but also have an opportunity to attend conferences, meetings, and training programs throughout the country. They visit their Regional Medical Library to establish a relationship with them and also may observe successful outreach projects funded by NLM. At the end of the fellowship, the fellows develop an information-related project for their tribe or community. NLM works with them on the proposal development and then funds the project. NLM will continue to monitor the projects developed by the fellows and help them develop the capacity of their organization.

The first set of fellows from the Three Affiliated Tribes, Ft. Berthold, North Dakota, started in January 2002. Fellows from additional tribes and the Native Hawaiian community have continued to participate in this program.