An AI/AN Cultural Awareness Orientation Curriculum


    How to Develop a Cultural Awareness Orientation for your Tribe/Health Care Program

    Welcome to the Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board, Tribal Epidemiology Center Cultural Orientation for your Tribe or Health Care Program!

    The purpose of this curriculum is to orient health care staff to the differences in tribal culture or to provide a broad understanding of the differences between cultures and how it can impact the improvement of health care delivery. The intended audience is Indian Health Service, Tribal Health Service and Urban Indian Health Clinic employees, Tribal employees, Tribal Advisory Board members, and health providers in the general population that work with American Indian or Alaskan Native (AI/AN) peoples.

    The curriculum and material are meant to be a comprehensive but preliminary resource that will explain how to create a cultural competency program and provide the foundational cultural competency information needed for training. This is an opportunity for the Tribal Advisory Board or appropriate group to have input and influence on the quality of care that is delivered. Finally, a cultural competency training program is an opportunity for the tribe to share its histories and explore its commonalities and differences with the health care employees.

    This Cultural Orientation Technical Assistance manual will provide strategies and a framework for a tribal entity to develop its own personalized cultural orientation for health care providers. It also provides strategies to assist the tribe in finding opportunities to assess how the long-term employees can help shape the content of the cultural interactions and activities.

    The following modules include a short training module (Creating a Cultural Competency Program) and four slide sets that can be tailored to your own tribe or tribes in your area. Additionally there is a Technical Assistance Manual to assist with creating your cultural competency program.


    Creating a Cultural Competency Program Training Video


     CURRICULUM MODULES (in MS PowerPoint slides)




    CURRICULUM MODULES (in Adobe including notes)




    Suggested citation: Irons P, Snider C, Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board, Tribal Epidemiology Center. (2013). Oklahoma City Area Inter-Tribal Health Board Tribal Epidemiology Center Cultural Orientation: How to Develop a Cultural Awareness Orientation for Your Tribe/Health Care Program Ver 01.2013.  Available at:

    As an OCAITHB-TEC Cultural Orientation user you are an important part of the cultural education of your tribe, the tribe that you work for, and American Indians in the US. We want your opinions and suggestions for improvements for this training. Please have everyone that you train using this curriculum complete the evaluation.  If you do not wish to use paper please have each person complete the online evaluation. Your suggestions as well as those of the people you train will help us to modify the curriculum to suit your needs. 

    Please complete the evaluation section of the curriculum when you use this manual. If you use paper mail them to: OCAITHB, Attn: Cuyler Snider MPH, P.O. Box 5826, Edmond, OK 73083 

    These materials were developed by the OCAITHB as a part of the AI/AN Health Disparities Program, grant number AIAMP070006. The online version of this program was supported by Grant Number 01UB6HP20183-02 (Oklahoma Public Health Training Center, PI: Boatright) from HRSA. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the HRSA or OMH.

    For more information please contact Cuyler Snider, MPH at