This Initiative was developed with focus on the impacts and history of relationships between the dominant society and Indigenous Peoples of the four colonized countries of our Affiliate Organizations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In the long term, it is meant to eliminate systemic barriers in the current dominant structures by creating conditions that protect and expand Indigenous sovereignty and self-governance while creating racial equity for all. One part of this process is to maximize the existing capacity of Indigenous organizations to tell their own stories and become vehicles for their members to find and exercise their inherent power. At the same time we focus on creating durable relational ties between Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, developed at the speed of trust to form long term commitments that lead to an equitable future.
This collective work was led by a group of Indigenous Peoples worldwide.
IAF Northwest Health Equity Organizing initiative addresses the the social determinants of health, the non-medical factors that influence our health and wellbeing in the acknowledgement that there is more to health than medical care. Health inequities that are influenced by race, age and more create systemic barriers for people who deserve just and adequate care. To achieve Health Equity, we work with health clinics, residency programs, and students to use community organizing tools and practices to address the social determinants of health in our communities.
Our Community Organizing practices and principles stem from the founding organization, Industrial Areas Foundation. The organization was developed in 1940, and it has since become the nation's largest and longest-standing network of local labor, faith and community-based organizations.
The central goal is equipping our affiliate organizations to develop their own alliance of organizers and leaders who have skills or want to develop those skills of being relational and strategic to take action that then brings about meaningful change for the common good.