NIH Logo
December 2, 2016
Native Scholars Celebrate Culture
Guests celebrate Native American Heritage Month with a round dance.
Guests celebrate Native American Heritage Month with a round dance.

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.

Dr. Tamara James

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.

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.

NIH Native Scholars Celebrate 2016 Native American Heritage Month: Serving Our Nations. Shown are (from l) Dr. Tamara James, Choctaw Nation (former fellow in the NIDCR Office of Science Policy and Analysis); Tierra Robinson-Morgan, Piscataway Conoy (ORF post-baccalaureate fellow); Loretta Grey Cloud, Kul Wicasa Lakota and Hunkpati Dakota Nations (NIDCR post-baccalaureate fellow); Alec Calac, Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians (NINDS post-baccalaureate fellow); Dr. Teresa Brockie, A’aninin White Clay Nation (Clinical Center research nurse specialist); Geanna Capitan, Pueblo of Laguna and Navajo (NINDS post-baccalaureate fellow) and Dr. Rita Devine, NINDS assistant director for science administration.
NIH Native Scholars Celebrate 2016 Native American Heritage Month: Serving Our Nations. Shown are (from l) Dr. Tamara James, Choctaw Nation (former fellow in the NIDCR Office of Science Policy and Analysis); Tierra Robinson-Morgan, Piscataway Conoy (ORF post-baccalaureate fellow); Loretta Grey Cloud, Kul Wicasa Lakota and Hunkpati Dakota Nations (NIDCR post-baccalaureate fellow); Alec Calac, Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians (NINDS post-baccalaureate fellow); Dr. Teresa Brockie, A’aninin White Clay Nation (Clinical Center research nurse specialist); Geanna Capitan, Pueblo of Laguna and Navajo (NINDS post-baccalaureate fellow) and Dr. Rita Devine, NINDS assistant director for science administration.

NINDS post-baccalaureate fellows Geanna Capitan and Alec Calac join in the annual celebration held in the Porter Neuroscience Research Center. NIH tradition? Both affection and science are part of the festivities, as hugs, food and a poster session make their appearance.
NINDS post-baccalaureate fellows Geanna Capitan and Alec Calac join in the annual celebration held in the Porter Neuroscience Research Center. Both affection and science are part of the festivities, as hugs and  food make their appearance.



Grey Cloud (l) introduces her traditional dish. She’s joined by Robinson-Morgan and Capitan.
Grey Cloud (l) introduces her traditional dish. She’s joined by Robinson-Morgan and Capitan.

A poster session was also part of the heritage month celebration.
A poster session was also part of the heritage month celebration.

PHOTOS: ERNIE BRANSON


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