Welcome to the Coalition on Urban Indian Aging’s Native Urban Elder Needs Assessment Survey (NUENAS 1.0). This survey is the result of years of partnership between research organizations and those directly involved in urban Native Elder services. There are 137 questions covering topics such as physical, social, emotional, and mental health service quality; overall quality of life; unidentified needs; COVID-19 resources and care; and others. All of these questions are asked to provide data to support improvement of health equity, quality of life, and overall cultural responsiveness.


Who took this survey?

American Indian and Alaska Native persons over the age of 55* and living in an urban setting participated in the survey.
*or the age their local health organization designated them as an Elder.

What was the purpose of the survey?

American Indian and Alaska Native people are often underrepresented in data collection. As a result, there is little information on the needs of this population and what areas of improvement are most important. This survey was created to gather hard data points on the current state of health services for Native Elders, and the most pressing areas for improvement. The voice of urban Native Elders needs to be heard, and this survey is a part of that endeavor.

In which languages was the survey available?

The survey was only available in Standard American English.

Was the survey for all Native Elders?

It was for all urban Native Elders. This population included American Indian and Alaska Native Elders who live in urban areas. It was open to federal- and state-recognized tribal members.

Why was it only for Elders in urban areas?

The urban population of Native people has a unique history. The Indian Relocation Act of 1956 moved many Native people off their reservation and placed them in urban centers, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, and other cities. Today, 71% of the total Native population resides outside reservation or Indian lands 1.

Despite this large number, only 1% of Indian Health Services total budget is designated for urban Indian health services. To increase this funding, hard data is needed around the current experience of urban Native Elders and their needs. Results from this survey may help fill the gap and improve the health equity and services provided to urban Native Elders.

How can I see survey results?

Navigate to the Survey Results tab for a sample of the data gathered. Each organization that helped recruit participants will receive the data specific to their location as well as access to the aggregate data from the national survey.

What if I have a question that isn’t listed here?

Please email your question to, and we will respond and add it to the website.