NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Native Scholars Celebrate Culture

Capitan, Calac in traditional Native American clothing, smile while chatting.
NINDS post-baccalaureate fellows Geanna Capitan and Alec Calac join in the annual celebration held in the Porter Neuroscience Research Center.

Photo:  Ernie Branson

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, the NIH Native Scholars group, an informal gathering of trainees ranging from post-baccalaureate to postdoctoral fellows, treated their scientific and cultural mentors, as well as NIH dignitaries, to a traditional foods luncheon.

The eight Native researchers, representing seven different nations and garbed in traditional regalia of their tribe, hosted the meal. This was the third annual luncheon, and included traditional dishes such as red chile stew, dried elk meat with dried turnip and corn soup, hominy stew, green chile enchiladas, Wojapi (June berry pudding), Kabubu (pan bread), Indian ice cream (Buffalo berries), corn cake and Navajo tea. 

James stands, smiling
Dr. Tamara James joins the celebration.

Photo:  Ernie Branson

Following the blessing, sung by Loretta Grey Cloud of the Kul Wicasa Lakota and Hunkpati Dakota Nations, the Native Scholars introduced themselves, many in their Native language, and described the dish they had prepared as well as its significance to their culture. 

Following the meal, Dr. Teresa Brockie, a postdoctoral fellow in the National Institute of Nursing Research, was honored by her mentee Grey Cloud and the other scholars including Dr. Tamara James (shown, l), a former fellow in NIDCR’s Office of Science Policy and Analysis, with a handmade Pendleton blanket coat and an eagle feather. Following the blanket ceremony, Brockie led all the guests in a round dance to celebrate the day. 

Photo Gallery

Through Jan. 13

NLM’s ‘Fire and Freedom’ Exhibit on Display

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Six large panels featuring information, photos as part of the traveling exhibit
A traveling banner version of NLM's "Fire and Freedom: Food and Enslavement in Early America"

The National Library of Medicine’s “Fire and Freedom: Food and Enslavement in Early America” will be on display to the public in the NLM History of Medicine Division reading room on the first floor of Bldg. 38 through Friday, Jan. 13. In addition, 50 cultural institutions across the country will host a traveling banner version (shown above) that NLM made available free of charge over the next 4 years. 

Find other places to see it in person at Exhibit. You can also visit an online adaptation.

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