Indigenous Peoples Navigation Network (IPNN)

(as recognized by the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN+)

Indigenous Peoples Navigation Network (IPNN) is a virtual support network for navigators who work with Indigenous Populations. Native American Cancer Research Corporation (NACR) has implemented patient navigation services since 1994 and conducted Native Patient Navigation (NPN) trainings since the latter 1990s.  Following these trainings, Patient Navigators (PN(s)) repeatedly expressed appreciation for the opportunity to talk, network and collaborate with other PNs who work within Indigenous settings. Through NACR's involvement with organizations such as the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN+), we were able to create an international Indigenous network to help support one another in our cancer navigation efforts.  

Upcoming IPNNs

NOTE:  All IPNNs meet virtually and are held on a Tuesday for USA and Canada and Wednesday for New Zealand and Australia, 5:00 MOUNTAIN Time (please convert the time to your time zone). Most webinars are 90 minutes duration

The next IPNN will be early fall, 2023 and will highlight Marilyn Roubidoux, MD (Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska) University of Michigan Department of Radiology, her colleague who will be talking about cervical cancer home tests and Emily Gentry, RN from AONN+ to discuss many resources available free-of-charge.  The date has not yet been set.



Indigenous Peoples' Navigation Network  (IPNN, pronounced, "I pin")

Why an Indigenous Peoples Navigation Network?

There are both cultural and geographic challenges and solutions that may be unique to Indigenous communities and the Patient Navigators who work in those areas. Many Navigators work in isolation. The focus of IPNN is on sharing stories of how navigation programs have overcome challenges in culturally respectful ways. Such stories may help PNs working in another region or continent try something new or modify what was done to be locally appropriate to one's setting.


Provide a virtual support program to address culturally and geographically unique challenges and solutions of Indigenous Navigation programs.


Cancer Patient Navigators who work within Indigenous programs in the USA, Pacific Islands, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. 

What would you be responsible for should you choose to join this initiative?

There is no fee. You would be expected to attend 2-hour virtual meetings, held at least quarterly. The goal is to be supportive of navigators who work within Indigenous communities and the members to feel comfortable to share their stories, lessons learned or request help. Additionally, members will suggest topics for which they would like more information (education topic) for subsequent gatherings. IPNN is to help us all learn more about one another and to reinforce "we are all related". An example of an agenda may be:

  • Blessing (presented by a different Indigenous community each meeting) ~5 minutes
  • Ground rules (e.g., virtual feather for whoever is speaking and the feather passes to next speaker, no talking on top of one another's words, no gossiping, any information shared in meeting remains confidential unless speaker says it is okay to share, all comments reflect respect for our ancestors, etc.) ~5 minutes
  • Welcome and short self-introductions (name, Indigenous affiliation (if any), name of your navigation program, how long you've worked there and your primary responsibilities); ~3 minutes each (length depends on number of participants)
  • Education topic (members will select topics of interest, e.g., patient navigation roles throughout the cancer continuum, integrating traditional Indigenous medicine with cancer treatments, family-healthcare provider communication challenges, etc.) 20 minutes plus 15 minutes for questions, comments, discussions.
  • Opening for member(s) to raise navigation issue for which they need guidance  ~15 minutes (discussion may lead to education speaker at subsequent gathering)
  • One IPNN Member to share personal navigation story (15-minutes plus 15 minutes for participants to ask questions or make comments)
  • One IPNN member to share resource(s) that helped with navigation duties (10 minutes)
  • One IPNN member to share cultural lessons (artwork, craft, story) (10 minutes)
  • Closing blessing (presented by different Indigenous community each meeting)

What do you do if you choose to become involved in IPNN?

Send your name, address, work or cell phone and email to


Resources Shared by IPNN members  

Click on the blue font link(s) below to access the resource


Guide to Accredited Certification for PNs

Navigation Resources recommended by the Workforce Development Task Group

Oncology Navigation Standards of Professional Practice

PN competencies and training by Workforce Dev Task Group

PN Toolkits and Resources recommended by Workforce Development Task Group

Links to AONN+ PN Resources


Overview of AONN+ and Native American Cancer Initiatives PN Training Oppt & Resources


BMSF panel discussion Presented and moderated by Michele

Addressing Cancer Disparities Among American Indians in Western South Dakota


AUS Aboriginal Support Roles

AUS Aboriginal: Addressing Patients' Unsolved Tensions

AUS: Indigenous PN Intervention in Queensland, AUS

AUS: Staff Attitudes towards Unmet Needs

AUS: Aboriginal Patients and Support Services

AUS: Cultural Respect for Indigenous Navigators



Ka`opua_Culture, SDOH and Palliative Care in Pacific Basin

Ka`opua_Developing Tautai Lavea'i, a Breast Cancer Patient Navigation Program in Am Samoa

Ka`opua_Research Capacity Strengthening in Am Samoa

Ka`opua Book Chap that accompanies handout

2022-10-11 Ka`opua handout

Lana Sue I. Ka`opua bio



2022-08-04, Redwood, Diana handout, "Improving CRC screening in Alaska Tribal Health System through patient navigation and community outreach"

Diana Redwood bio



CSC’s Precision Medicine Plain Language Lexicon

AONN+ Poster on Plain Language & Precision Medicine

Common Cancer Testing Terminology

CSC’s Precision Medicine educational materials available at no cost

Talking about Biomarker Testing

Consistent Common Cancer Testing Terms

Claire Saxton, CSC, slide deck  from 2022-10-11


Videos from webinars

March 16, 2022 IPNN webinar clips

We did not begin recording webinars until March 16, 2022.  There are multiple parts to each webinar. Select the clip to view.

IPNN (2022-03-16) Participant Self-Introductions

Gail Garvey, Part 1

Gail Garvey, Part 2

Sandra Thompson, Part 1

Sandra Thompson, Part 2

Sandra Thompson, Part 3

Sandra Thompson, Part 4

April 27, 2022 Linda Burhansstipanov, DrPH, overview of PONT and AONN+ Metric Toolkit

PONT definitions and AONN_ Metric Toolki+

August 4, 2022 Diana Redwood, PhD, ANTHC Colorectal Cancer Control Program


October 11, 2022 Claire Saxton from the Cancer Support Community

Plain language for genetics and Precision Medicine

February 28, 2023 Patient Navigation Across the CRC Control continuum:  Experience from AI ACCSIS Projects

PN across CRC continuum

May 2, 2023 Walking Forward video 

IPNN Walking Forward Panel Presentation