New Fundholder – The Center for Native Health

Photo courtesy of the Center for Native Health

Trey Adcock, photo courtesy of the Center for Native Health

In September, The Center for Native Health (CNH) opened an organizational fund with CFWNC as part of its sustainability planning. CNH is guided by two Cherokee principles Duyvktv and Tohi, which together form an Indigenous structure for understanding health and wellbeing. The Center's goal is the reduction of health disparities for native communities through the preservation and respectful application of community-held knowledge. It works to revitalize and strengthen traditional Cherokee culture as a form of individual and collective healing.

"I see four important areas that CNH will focus on in the coming years: matrilineal care, land equity and wellness, cultural preservation through application, and our continued work to educate and mentor the next generation of American Indian medical professionals. As a Native-led organization, we are deeply invested and committed to building relationships with funders, organizations, universities, and, most importantly, community members that reflect our values.

We opened a fund at CFWNC because our board liked that it is rooted in WNC, can provide investment management to help us grow our funds, and has so many deep relationships with other nonprofits. The Tohi Fund has the potential to be transformative as we build a pathway towards sustainability as an organization. For us to carry out our mission, especially since we do not receive any EBCI tribal funding, we constantly look for partners who are willing and able to provide the resources for us to thrive. Our board includes fluent Cherokee speakers, and we chose to use Cherokee language and concepts in the name to illuminate what the fund will support.

The mission and approach of CNH are unique in the nation because we are driven first and foremost by a community agenda and guided with the advice of community members. We are relationship driven at all levels. West of the Mississippi there are tribal colleges that address the needs of native communities in a culturally-grounded manner. This is not the case in the East and in lieu of a tribal college, CNH works with the EBCI and other sovereign tribal nations in the Southeast to address issues related to the significant health disparities that exist in native communities.”

Trey Adcock (ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ enrolled Cherokee Nation), PhD
Executive Director, Center for Native Health