Culturally-Based Native Health Certificate Program
The mission of the Culturally-Based Native Health Program is to provide a new approach to training for health professionals serving Native peoples, grounded in a tribal community, and integrated into the core of the University. We accomplish this through providing an undergraduate and graduate certificate program for health professionals who serve American Indian populations in the South and the East and also through training opportunities for Native youth through mentoring, summer programs, and research opportunities – training which will open career paths for young students.  

This interdisciplinary, online program requires 12 hours of courses and is intended to reach a population of students considered underrepresented and underserved. A certificate in Culturally-Based Native Health will enable students to utilize their training in a health-related discipline and apply it to Southeastern Indian cultures. This culturally-oriented certificate option will enable professionals in the region, who are Cherokee or serve a Native American population, to acquire the cultural knowledge and methodological understanding to serve more effectively in their professions.

Decision-makers from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Western Carolina University, and Wake Forest University have crafted the centerpiece of the program: a culturally-based health curriculum for those serving American Indian populations.

The Cherokee Shaman’s Knot is an ancient Kituwah design
signifying the four corners of creation and the connection of
all spirituality and all physical life in the world.
– Tom Belt, Cherokee


Partner institutions to reaffirm commitment to Native health

See our video: Culturally-Based Native Health Program: A Dialogue with Cherokee Elders

"I am glad I took all the courses for the Native Health Certificate. Even though I am Eastern Cherokee, I learned many things I did not know about Native Culture, including issues within my own tribe. I look at health and mental issues within Native communities differently now. I will be a better and more understanding person because of the courses, for it helps me see the differences in Western and Indigenous cultures and the healing required for Native peoples. I encourage others to take the courses, even if they are not going into the Health professions." - Henrietta Lambert



Cherokee Center

Rooted in the Mountains: Valuing our Common Ground

Distance & Online Programs

Culturally Based Native Health Certificate (Non-Credit)


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