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. To take the survey, contact your Urban Indian Organization or complete online. 

Complete the Survey
and receive a thank you gift card for your time


Who should take this survey?

If you are an American Indian or Alaska Native person over the age of 55* and living in an urban setting, this survey is for you. 
*or the age your local health organization designates as an Elder.

What is 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 aims to create 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 hopes to help in that endeavor.

How do I take the survey?

The survey is currently available through your local Urban Indian health organization (UIO). The local UIO has determined whether paper or an online version is best for their Elders and are helping administer the survey. If you are interested in participating, contact your local organization. An incentive may be available to thank you for your time. 

The NUENAS survey can now be taken online!  If you’ve been waiting to complete the Native Urban Elders Needs Assessment Survey because you didn’t want to go into the clinic, you no longer need to travel any further than your cell phone, tablet, or computer.

In which languages is the survey available?

Currently the survey is only available in Standard American English. 

Is the survey for all Native Elders?

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

Why is 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. This survey hopes to fill the gap and improve the health equity and services provided to urban Native Elders.

I work in an organization that provides services to urban Native Elders. How can I help?

Thank you for your work with this population. As the culture and knowledge bearers, our Elders are critical to the survival, revival, and thriving of their people. 

Current available resources can be found in the resource section of the website—uiacoaltion.orgunder Organizations. The resource list is continuously expanding, so check back often. If you find you need a resource and its not available, please email, and we’ll work to give you everything you need.

My organization wants to administer the survey. What do I do?

Thank you! We are excited to partner with you. To begin, please reach out so we can determine a few things, such as whether you want to do a paper or an online version of the survey, what your safety protocols are, as well as the timeline you want to administer the survey. 

On the resources page, under organizations, there is a memorandum of understanding (MOU). Every organization will need to complete the MOU prior to participating in the survey. It is a fillable form, ready for download and completion. Once the MOU has been completed, we’ll be able to determine the logistics of getting your surveys ready. If you choose a paper survey, your desired number of surveys will be mailed to you. If you choose an online survey, a unique URL for your organization will be provided. 

The survey comes with a $250 honorarium for the organization, as well as the financing to provide an incentive for your Elders who participate. The survey is comprehensive, and it’s important that the Elders feel our appreciation for their willingness to participate, their time, and their honesty. Once the MOU is in place, the financial component will also be determined.

Will I receive the data from the survey?

Yes! Once the surveys have been completed, each organization will receive the data specific to their location as well as access to the aggregate data from the national survey. The survey will remain open through August 2022, so we expect aggregate data and reporting to be available in early 2023.

Is there anything else I can do to help the survey?

If your organization is participating in the survey, and you are able, we would love to have pictures and images of the Elders taking the survey. To use these images, we need each Elder to sign a Talent Release form. Two version of the form are available on the website—a fillable PDF and a version that can be printed and sent back. Images would need to be high resolution, in jpeg or png file format, and have anyone whose face is clearly seen sign a Talent Release form to provide consent for us to use the image. Any images you submit will be used on the website, in social media, and within the report.

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