Webinar flyer Underserved Native American Communities

Communicating and Connecting Safety Messages to Native American Communities

​With over 574 federally recognized tribes, Native American communities are extremely diverse in location and culture. With their own laws and jurisdiction, data collection can be uniquely challenging to obtain. Crash data on Native Americans is underreported, and if reported, the statistics would likely be even higher. Privacy concerns, staffing limitations, and lack of equipment and training are all contributors to this struggle. Yet as we look at the data, Native American communities are a key demographic in need of outreach and advocacy.

​​The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA estimates 42,795 people died because of crashes in 2022, compared with 42,939 in 2021. But all communities and areas of the country are not affected equally. According to an article published by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), those who identify as American Indian or Alaska native are killed and injured at a rate 2 or 3 times the national aver​age (BIA 2022 Annual Report). Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional death for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) ages 1–44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Roadway to Safer Tribal Communities Toolkit, as quoted in Federal Highway Admini​stration’s FHWA’s Tribal Government Safety Data.  

​​This webinar is part three in our “‘Communicating and Connecting Safety Messages with Underserved Communities”' series, which supports Executive Order 13985​: Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. Panelists will discuss what challenges these communities have in common and ways to authentically engage these communities with safety messaging.

Panelists include:

Nicholas Worrell, NTSB, Chief of Safety Advocacy Division (Moderator)

Tosheena Nez, MPH Multicultural Communications Specialist, American Indian/Alaska Native Audience

• ​Maggie Gunnels, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Laura Sonderup, Managing Director and Senior Strategist, Heinrich

Cody Beers, WYDOT Public Relations Specialist, WYDOT Tribal Liaison​

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