At left, a researcher explains her poster to Dr. Jeffrey Henderson of the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health. More than 20 posters were displayed in the session. At right, Dr. Malcolm King, scientific director of the Canadian Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, discusses the metrics of health disparities within the three major communities of native peoples (First Nation, Inuit and Metis) across Canada.
NIH recently held its 10th annual observance
of Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Day in Kirschstein Auditorium, Bldg. 45. Events included a scientific presentation,
cultural performance, food tasting and poster displays.
Dr. Malcolm King, a member of the New Credit,
part of the First Nations people located in southern Ontario, gave the scientific talk. He is scientific director of the Institute of Aboriginal
Peoples’ Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Dr. Philip Smith of the Indian Health Service opens the program with a blessing in Navajo language.
Champion hoop dancer Jackie Bird accompanies herself on guitar between sets of intricate hoop dances.
He described community-based research among aboriginal peoples in Canada. “Contributions
of local knowledge, oral history and cultural understanding are often missed opportunities that can provide important depth and breadth for researchers and a more robust and complete perspective into disease prevention and health promotion,” he said.
Jackie Bird, a Dakota Indian and championship
hoop dancer, gave the cultural performance.
She sang traditional songs in her native language and English and engaged members of the audience in her tribute to the four points of the compass of Mother Earth. She also manipulated more than 20 hoops to form images and tell a story.
The day was capped by a scientific poster session
by more than 20 young American Indian and Alaska Native researchers. The session, sponsored by the Indian Health Service and the Native American Research Centers for Health program, highlighted research activities that engage local populations to better understand
health disparities of Native Americans.
Hosting the event was the NIH American Indian
and Alaska Native Employee Council. Sponsors
included the Fogarty International Center, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences
and the NIH Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management.