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Wabanaki Public Health provides public health services including nutrition and physical education, environmental health, youth engagement, injury and violence prevention, maternal and child health, cultural and language programs, infectious disease prevention, and community wellness supports.
The division of Community & Land Wellness supports the Wabanaki communities through providing programs centered around healthy eating, tobacco prevention, and public health education. Click here to learn more about our Community & Land Wellness programs.
Culture and language are key protective factors in reducing high-risk behaviors in youth and adults. The work of the Culture, Connection & Support division facilitates cultural programs and activities to promote and support education. Click here to learn more about our Culture, Connection & Support programs.
The division of Our Future Generations supports in utero all the way to adulthood. We believe that youth are our future and should be involved and informed about the decision-making that will affect their future. Click here to learn about Our Future Generations programs.
The formation of the Tribal Public Health Unit in 2008 was a direct result of the four federally recognized Tribes in Maine coming together in partnership with the Maine CDC. The first staff was hired in 2009, and the positions consisted of two Public Health Liaisons.
Initially, the work consisted of health promotion and disease prevention. The Liaisons contributed to the work being done in public health districts that corresponded with tribal communities. They also worked, in collaboration, with the five Tribal Health Directors in Maine during the development and implementation of Wabanaki Health Assessment, which was conducted in 2011. The assessment that was conducted was the largest of any tribe, or group of tribes, east of the Mississippi.
The Wabanaki Public Health District (formerly Tribal Public Health Unit) was established in statute in June 2011. As the 9th Public Health District in Maine, WPHD serves the four tribes located in five communities, which consist of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, The Aroostook Band of Micmac Indians, the Passamaquoddy at Indian Township and at Pleasant Point, and the Penobscot Nation members on and off reservation.
As a result of becoming a public health district, the focus of the work changed to development of a Tribal Public Health Infrastructure. This district is complementary to the 8 public health districts established by the Maine CDC, however is unique, as it is an intergovernmental relationship between the State of Maine and the Tribes as Sovereign Nations.