U.S. Military Reserve Units Provide Dental Care to 550 People at Indian Reservations in 2004

Providing dental services to Native Americans living on reservations

In 2004, the Walking Shield American Indian Society arranged for U.S. military reserve units to provide dental health services to six Indian reservations and conducted an evaluation of this effort.

Key Results

  • A total of 550 individuals from the reservations or neighboring tribes received dental care at the two reservations whose dental services were funded by RWJF. Many individuals came for multiple visits to complete their oral health care.
  • Walking Shield staff wrote a guidebook on how to bring military health care professionals to the reservations. See the Bibliography for more information.
  • Walking Shield staff worked with members of each tribe to help them understand how to sustain an ongoing relationship with the reserve units.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) awarded an unsolicited, one-year grant of $50,000, which provided partial funding of the evaluation and enabled the project to reach two reservations that lacked their own dental facilities.