Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICAF)

  • Project Title: AICAF Prevention & Policy Program
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Melissa Buffalo and Chris Johnson
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
  • Program Overview: AICAF is a nonprofit dedicated to addressing cancer inequities in American Indian/Alaska Native communities. AICAF assists tribes and tribal organizations with assessing their community readiness to address priority health issues that contribute to cancer inequities. The Foundation also provides technical assistance around identifying and implementing strategies with an indigenous and health equity lens. Their approach emphasizes the importance of relationship-building and community conversations where tribal community members are empowered to develop solutions. AICAF also seeks to contextualize evidence-based interventions within indigenous practices and ways of knowing. For example, through initiatives like Healthy Native Foods, AICAF provides resources about reclaiming indigenous food systems as part of increasing access to healthy and nutritious foods. These efforts shift the focus of interventions from the individual to the historical and structural roots of health inequities among tribal communities.

    A critical barrier to assessing community health is a lack of data on American Indian/Alaska Native communities. A key aspect of AICAF's work is assisting tribes with accessing reliable cancer data. AICAF also works with federal and state agencies to raise awareness about the misclassification and misrepresentation of data on American Indian/Alaska Native communities.

Read about AICAF's work in our Rural Monitor article.

Strategies represented by this program: