Indigenous community health

Seth Oppong, Kendall R. Brune, Elias Mpofu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Indigenous communities are those with historical claims to native lands, practices, and customs that have sustained them for millennia. In many parts of the world, they continue to draw on age-old wisdom and practices to sustain their health in the modern, and, now, digital age. Yet, their cultural assets for health and wellbeing are less well recognized by mainstream culture, and often, their approaches to health and wellbeing are regarded as complementary or alternative to mainstream modern medicine. In this chapter, we review regional and international definitions of indigenous communities and trace the history of research and practice in indigenous health in Africa, Australia, and North America. We follow this up by discussing the main themes in sustaining the health of indigenous communities, informed by their assets and potentialities, applying human rights-based approaches. Next, we consider the cultural, professional, and legal issues that influence health and wellbeing among indigenous communities, and related disciplines for understanding and promoting indigenous health systems. Finally, we review the critical research and practice issues for sustainable community health among indigenous communities in a globalized, digital age world.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Community Health
Subtitle of host publicationSystems and Practices in Diverse Settings
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9783030596873
ISBN (Print)9783030596866
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2021


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • Community-driven development
  • First nations peoples
  • Human rights
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Self-determination
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Indigenous community health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this