With support from a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Red Star International, Inc. led an exploration began in 2011 to determine the value and desirability of an Indigenous focused public health institute (PHI). The exploration was guided by a national advisory board, and included strong Tribal engagement and outreach, coupled with a public health systems analysis and financial review.
After numerous roundtables, presentations and forums, the national advisory board concluded that an Indigenous PHI was feasible, and was greatly needed to create sustainable, systemic change to improve health outcomes in our communities. In August 2016, with support from a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Seven Directions emerged as the first national public health institute (PHI) in the United States to focus solely on Indigenous health and wellness. Today, Seven Directions is a public non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with its own Board of Directors. Having given voice to the diverse needs across the country over five years, we are committed to uncovering opportunities for us to work ‘together like one being’ toward a shared vision and shared goals for our future generations.