NEWS RELEASE: IA2 partners with NICOA to bring training sessions for staff and health professionals to August conference on aging in Indian Country

News Release: IA2 partners with the National Indian Council on Aging to bring multiple training sessions to 23rd conference on aging in Indian Country

Savvy Caregiver for Indian Country Program Leader, Native Elder Caregiver Curriculum for Professionals, Dementia Friends Champion Training & More

July 2, 2021
Mary Ann Franks, Public Health Communications Associate,


“Resilience for Tomorrow… Together,” the American Indian elders conference hosted by the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) will unfold in Reno, Nevada, at the Nugget Casino and Resort August 1 -6, 2021.

“This theme couldn’t be more fitting given the challenges that Indian country has faced this past year. Particularly the devastating loss of so many elders,” said Dave Baldridge, International Association for Indigenous Aging’s (IA2) executive director and board member. “IA2 is excited to announce partnerships with Dr. J. Neil Henderson, the National Resource Center for Native American Aging (NRCNAA), and Dr. Jennifer Carson from the University of Nevada, Reno, to bring multiple training opportunities for elder advocates, community health representatives, and elders to the conference.”

NICOA hopes to bring nearly 1,000 American Indian and Alaska Native elders, caregivers, stakeholders, aging network providers, elected tribal representatives, and various community organizations together at the event.  As one of the nation’s first conferences to meet in person since COVID-19, “we heard loud and clear from our members that it is time to pick up and move forward. They told us it is critical for this gathering to take place. Now more than ever, we need to highlight the needs and work to address issues facing Native elders,” said NICOA Executive Director Larry Curley.

IAwill host multiple trainings and listening sessions with the support of grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation, and Dementia Friends training support provided by Univ. of Nevada, Reno.

In addition, IA2 will offer up to 25 travel scholarships to help staff who would otherwise be unable to afford to attend the trainings.

Sessions include:

“I am so excited to work with IA2 as the training lead on the cultural adaptation and update to the Dementia Friends USA community session training content,” said Dr. Jennifer Carson of the Univ. of Nevada, Reno. “We have had the honor of offering community information sessions using the original Dementia Friends training materials to more than 1,300 people across Nevada. We have also trained several Nevada tribal members as Champions who are offering information sessions in their communities. Dementia Friends is a program that gets the word out, and it works,” according to Carson.

IA2 has signed on as a national licensee for the Dementia Friends program. This license allows tribes, urban Indian health organizations, and Alaska Native communities to receive training and affiliate with IA2 versus non-Native leads in their state.

The NICOA conference will also include sessions on American Indian politics and legislation, health, safety, elder abuse, caregiving, financial management, employment, retirement, and the Older Americans Act. The conference offers workshops and training for elders, caregivers, and professionals working with elders. Favorite conference events include the Native elder’s fashion show, Veteran’s luncheon, and closing banquet. NICOA also gathers input from voting members to help resolve various aging policy agendas in Washington, D.C.

“This conference provides a great opportunity for us to lift up the voices of Native elders from across the nation.  It will help address our goal of increasing awareness and education about Alzheimer’s and dementia and the needs of caregivers,” says Baldridge, “and work towards growth and positive change for American Indian and Alaska Native communities.”

To register for the conference’s IA2 training sessions and apply for training scholarships for the Native Elder Caregiver Curriculum or Savvy Caregiver for Indian Country Program Leader Training visit

To learn more about Savvy Caregiver for Indian Country, the Native Elder Caregiver Curriculum, or Dementia Friends Champions trainings visit

Nugget Casino Resort
1100 Nugget Avenue
Sparks, NV 89431

Special group rate is $89 + 14.02 fees/tax = $103.02 per night (estimated).
Type this link or, copy and paste the link into any web browser to book, modify, or cancel reservations

Attendees can also call one of our reservation desk to set up a reservation at 1-800-648-1177 and refer to the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) discounted room rate code GNICA20. This rate is available (2) two days prior to the conference and (2) two days after the conference.




These activities are supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC Foundation, and University of Nevada, Reno. The CDC funding is part of a financial assistance award totaling $348,711 with approximately 80% percent of these activities funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

The International Association for Indigenous Aging (IA2) is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and other Native people as they move through the aging spectrum.

Our work helps people and programs figure out how to competently and effectively engage and serve Native communities. We attempt to advance both knowledge and practice and promote engagement at all levels– local, tribal, regional, and national.

Fundamentally, our work acknowledges the history, rights, cultures, and values of indigenous people throughout their lifespans, recognition of tribal sovereignty, and centering the work of  Native communities in meaningful partnerships.