Indigenous HP Professionals (INIHPP)

The International Network of Indigenous Health Promotion Professionals (INIHPP) was created in line with a set of resolutions around Indigenous issues supported by IUHPE members at the General Assembly in Melbourne in 2004. 

Resolution 2 called on IUHPE to support action towards achieving equity in indigenous peoples' health and requested to position the IUHPE as a vehicle for facilitating indigenous peoples' leadership in indigenous health promotion by, for example, supporting Indigenous-led capacity building in indigenous health promotion and the creation of a global network of indigenous health promoters.


Activities leading to the establishment of the INIHPP

In October 2006, the IUHPE/South West Pacific Regional Committee established the Working Group Action on Indigenous Resolutions chaired by Dr Rosmarie Erben. One of the tasks of the Working Group was to draft a portfolio on Indigenous issues for the IUHPE governance structure. The document requested, among other things, that the IUHPE Global Vice President for Advocacy support the establishment of a Global Network of Indigenous health promoters and health promotion researchers.

The 19th IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion (Vancouver in 2007) provided an opportunity for strong indigenous input. Under the leadership of Dr Jay Wortman, an Indigenous Peoples Committee was established to channel the indigenous contributions into the conference program. With indigenous members and non-indigenous allies from Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand, the Indigenous Peoples Committee organized a very informative and interesting Pre-Conference Event. The draft resolutions discussed previously were accepted by delegates during this pre-conference event and were then presented to the IUHPE Board of Trustees.

The International Network Indigenous Health Promotion Professionals (INIHPP) was established in June 2009 and was strongly supported by the IUHPE South West Pacific Regional Working Group Action on Indigenous Resolutions. 


INIHPP's vision is complete health equity for indigenous peoples worldwide. Its aim is to promote awareness of indigenous health status and its determinants and to work towards wellness using indigenous and western methodologies.

Its goals include: 

  • to increase visibility for indigenous health concerns at the IUHPE World Conferences and other international events;

  • to advocate for the validity of indigenous peoples own models and approaches to indigenous health promotion;

  • to ensure that an indigenous focus is incorporated into key areas of IUHPE work, including activities around health promotion effectiveness;

  • to support the development of a program of activities in the field of health promotion led by, and in partnership with, indigenous peoples in order to respond to the specific needs, preferences and aspirations of indigenous peoples; and

  • to collaborate with governmental and non-governmental organizations in official relationship with IUHPE on indigenous health promotion.



Activity Report 2014

Post Pattaya we have achieved a few things but so much more work is needed.  

The INIHPP ensured a strong indigenous component in the 20th IUHPE World Conference in Geneva in 2010:

  • We have secured a voice at the IUHPE Global Board table with the endorsement of Sione Tu'itahi (Vice President South West Pacific Region, IUHPE) as our interim rep for INIHPP;  

  • We have drafted and consulted on a new strategic plan that will take us through to 2016 – most of the work focuses on increasing indigenous participation in the network and representation at all levels of IUHPE, raising awareness of indigenous issues and strengthening the response of IUHPE to indigenous peoples throughout the world. Feedback to date has been supportive of the direction to be taken. 

  • The Health Promotion Forum of NZ have offered to help out with the INIHPP page of the IUHPE website to ensure we keep this site updated.  

  • We are presenting a poster of the high level results from the Pattaya indigenous health promotion workshops (2013) at the International Network in Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development (INIHKD) conference in Winnipeg Canada 2014. Several of us are taking the opportunity to network at this conference. 

  • We have confirmed country leads for both the USA and Bolivia  however we will wait until after Winnipeg before releasing their details. 

  • We are currently in the process of updating the contact details of those who still wish to be part of the INIHPP network. 

  • Work is also underway between Dr Gifford and Dr Kurtz to handover the chairing of the network by the end of 2014. 

  • We are exploring ideas about formally aligning our international network with organisations within countries that have similar goals and aspirations. For example we are currently talking with the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee of the Australian 

  • Health Promotion Association. This would strengthen support for the network and maximise the opportunities for collaboration. 

For more information feel free to make contact with: 

Trevor Simpson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Donna Kurtz This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Activity Report 2011-2013

Most of the work during this period focused on ensuring strong representation of indigenous voices within the IUHPE.  This activity sits strongly under the Mission and Objectives of the IUHPE and in particular encompasses the IUHPE values of: respect for cultural identity, inclusion and involvement of all interested parties, equity in health, social and economic outcomes and social justice for all people.  

Indigenous input into the IUHPE 21st World Conference on Health Promotion in Pattaya, Thailand, 2013:

While INIHPP’s work started with members from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA, the location of the World Conference  triggered an active outreach to indigenous peoples in the Asia-Pacific Region  and resulted in the participation of indigenous people from regions such as Laos, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.  The collaboration with the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact – AIPP was crucial in this process.

  • Two INIHPP members, Dr Alexandra King, University of British Columbia, Canada, and Yvonne Cadet-James, Australia, were invited to serve as members of the "Equity&Bursary Committee".

  • Fifteen out of sixteen indigenous applications for bursary were successful.

  • The INIHPP abstract submitted by Dr Alexandra King was accepted and consequently, four Indigenous Health Promotion workshops were held during the Conference on Building on our success: knowledge translation in Indigenous health promotion. Discussions revealed rich diversity amongst Indigenous peoples from the various countries represented, including several in Asia, but also many commonalities.  Workshops focused on chronic diseases, infectious diseases as well as mental health and addictions. Structural issues were also considered. INIHPP is in the midst of collaborative analysis with results dissemination to follow. 

  • INIHPP was invited by the Global Scientific Committee to organize a Sub-Plenary.  Several members worked actively to bring together the Sub-Plenary with the theme Indigenous leadership in the development of health promotion: achieving health equity through partnership and community engagement.  The final list of speakers presenting at the plenary under the chair of Dr Heather Gifford were: Dr Clive Aspin and Trevor Stratton, Trevor Ihaka Simpson, Dr Malcolm King and Dr Jeff Henderson, Narumon Arunotai and Shimreichon Luithui. 

  • INIHPP members chaired and presented in a great number of oral and poster sessions

INIHPP Face-to-face Meeting

The World Conference provided an opportunity for an INIHPP meeting to discuss leadership, further workplans and steps to involve indigenous peoples from other Regions, especially South America. 


Dr Heather Gifford accepted to continue as chair in 2014 and Dr Donna Kurtz willz will  will take over for 2015-2016 and lead INIHPP towards the 22nd IUHPE World Conference, which will take place in Brazil.

The work of the chair will be supported by country leads.   



Activity Report 2009-2010

Indigenous input into the IUHPE 20th World Conference on Health Promotion in Geneva, Switzerland

The INIHPP ensured a strong indigenous component in the 20th IUHPE World Conference in Geneva in 2010:

  • Two INIHPP members, Associate Prof. Bonnie Duran and Dr Jay Wortmann were invited to serve as members of the "Equity&Bursary Committee".

  • The INIHPP abstract was accepted and consequently, four Indigenous Health Promotion Success Stories workshops were held on the four days of the Conference:

  • The first workshop (12 July 2010) was chaired by Jenni Judd and Bernie Shields (Australia) and attended by 30 participants. 8 Australian success stories were presented, mainly about capacity building approaches.

  • The second workshop (13 July 2010) was facilitated by Jay Wortmann (Canada) and attended by some 40 participants. 5 success stories from Canada were presented and discussed.

  • The third workshop (14 July 2010) with success stories from New Zealand was chaired by Megan Tunks and Heather Gifford, attended by 14 participants and 4 presenters.

  • The last workshop (15 July 2010) was originally dedicated to Native American success stories. In the absence of any indigenous representatives from USA (who could not secure funding), the workshop was chaired by James Smith and Megan Williams (Australia). Over 30 participants attended the workshop and were briefed on the history of the INIHHP.

  • Apart from the workshops there were two parallel sessions with Indigenous presentations, one chaired by Rosmarie Erben, the other by Jay Wortmann.

  • There were also intensive discussions around the Indigenous poster presentations which were well attended.


Meeting of INIHPP members with WHO in July 2010

During the IUHPE 20th World Conference on Health Promotion, a meeting took place at WHO/HQ with 6 staff members from the Departmenof Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights, which is responsible for Indigenous Health.


22 Indigenous participants (from the Conference) welcomed the opportunity for exchanging views and information. While there is no budget for Indigenous health, the World Health Report 2010 includes for the first time Indigenous health. It was agreed that success stories in Indigenous health Promotion should be sent to WHO on a regular basis. 





Viliami Puloka, New Zealand



Chair:  Dr Heather Gifford, Director, Whakauae Research for Maori Health and Development, Whanganui, New Zealand

Co-chair:   Dr Donna Kurtz,   Associate Professor

Faculty of Health and Social Development, School of Nursing University of British Columbia, Canada


Country/territory/area Leads:

Dallas McKeown, Manager, Atherton Services, Wuchopperen Health Service, Queensland, Australia

Dr Penelope Domogo, Provincial Health Officer, Bontoc, Northern Luzon, Philippines

Kang Hsiao-Ming, Director of Taian Health Center, Taian, Miaoli County of Taiwan, Member of MAIPT( Medical association of Indigenous People in Taiwan)Taiwan


2010 - 2014

Chair: Dr Heather Gifford, Director, Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development, Whanganui, New Zealand

Coordinator: Dr Rosmarie Erben, Adjunct Associate Professor, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

During this period we also had appointed country leads for Canada and Australia 

Dr. Alexandra King, MD, FRCPC | PhD student, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University | CIHR CTN James Kreppner Post-doctoral Fellow, Oak Tree Clinic, BC Women’s Hospital and Health Clinic | Vancouver, BC  Canada

Prof. Malcolm King, PhD | Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples' Health | Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University | Vancouver, BC Canada

Dallas McKeown, Manager, Atherton Services, Wuchopperen Health Service, Queensland, Australia

Professor Yvonne Cadet -James Indigenous Research Centre James Cook University Australia 


2009 -2010

Chair: Dr. Bonnie Duran, Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of Washington and Director of the Center for Indigenous Health Research (CIHR) in Seattle, U.S.A, with secretarial support from Leo Egashira

Co-chair:  Dr. Jay Wortman, Senior Medical Advisor for the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada, Vancouver, Canada