Tag Archives: american indian

native.american

UA Part of $6M research of American Indian Health

Public health researchers at the University of Arizona, along with researchers at two other higher education institutions in the state, have earned a $6 million grant to investigate health issues in American Indian communities.

The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities awarded the five-year grant to a statewide team of researchers from the UA, Northern Arizona University and Diné College to establish the Center for American Indian Resilience, also known as CAIR.

The collaborative team will study why some American Indian communities facing high rates of chronic disease and poverty seem to thrive despite adversity.

“The basic practice of public health is about understanding ways to support healthy behaviors, and we know programs that are culturally relevant are more effective,” said Nicolette Teufel-Shone, professor of health promotion sciences at the UA’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

“We will take a look at existing health behaviors and programs that target the prevention of chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, to determine what is working and why,” Teufel-Shone said.

Teufel-Shone and Priscilla Sanderson, assistant professor of health sciences and applied indigenous studies at NAU, have been named CAIR’s co-directors. Diné College faculty on the project are Mark Bauer and Donald Robinson, both of the department of science education.
The UA public health college received $2 million of the CAIR grant, which includes collaborations with tribal communities and research projects.

“CAIR research will deepen our scientific knowledge of existing positive health outcomes in tribal communities, and then we will translate this knowledge to practice through public health education and policy,” said Sanderson, a member of the Navajo Nation.

Also under the grant, the UA public health college will collaborate with NAU and Diné College to support Diné College’s ongoing summer program to teach undergraduate students to consider and incorporate community strengths in their work as emerging public health professionals. The program combines classroom learning with hands-on experience through an internship in tribal communities.

The research project, directed by the UA, also involves a partnership with the Tucson Indian Center to interview elders about their concept of resilience and their perceptions of key factors that contribute to success in life.

Through this initiative, members of the Southwestern American Indian community will record video diaries to share their experiences of well-being.

“The goal of the video diaries project is to use existing information about which factors contribute to Native American resilience and spread this knowledge to other Native American communities,” Teufel-Shone said. “This way, researchers can learn lessons of how resilience is already effective in these communities, share experiences and allow community members to create new paths based on other people’s stories.”

Other UA College of Public Health participants include John Ehiri, director and professor; Division of Health Promotion Sciences; Agnes Attakai, director, Health Disparities Outreach and Prevention Education; Kerstin Reinschmidt, assistant professor, Health Promotion Sciences; and Rebecca Drummond, program director for Family Wellness.

NAU faculty and staff contributing to CAIR include Olivia Trujillo, professor of applied indigenous studies; Robert Trotter, Regents’ professor and chair of anthropology; Chad Hamill, assistant professor of music; Roger Bounds, associate professor and chair of health sciences; Lisa Hardy, assistant professor of anthropology; R. Cruz Begay, professor of health sciences; and Kelly Laurila, coordinator in anthropology. Paul Dutton, director of NAU’s Interdisciplinary Health Policy Institute, will facilitate the executive advisory board.

Diné College faculty on the project are Mark Bauer, PhD and Donald Robinson, PhD of the Department of Science Education.

asu

ASU recognized for American Indian education

A new study, “For Our Children: A Study and Critical Discussion of the Influences on American Indian and Alaska Native Education Policy,” cites Arizona State University as one of the most influential universities in American Indian education and recognizes American Indian Studies Director and Professor John Tippeconnic as one of the most “influential people in American Indian/Alaska Native Education.”

The study by Hollie J. Mackey, University of Oklahoma assistant professor of education, and Linda Sue Warner, special assistant to the president on Indian affairs at Northeastern A&M College in Miami, Okla., determined and described influential studies, organizations, information sources and people for American Indian/Alaska Native education policy. The “Journal of American Indian Education” that is published by the ASU Center for Indian Education was also identified as one of the most influential sources of information in the study.

Arizona State University was cited as an influential university with five other institutions across the United States, including Northern Arizona University. Arizona is home to 22 tribes and 28 percent of the state is comprised of tribal lands. Tippeconnic is recognized as one of the most influential professors in American Indian/Alaska Native education among a cohort of 20 professors from throughout the nation.

Tippeconnic is an accomplished scholar who was awarded the National Indian Education Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award last year. He is the former director of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Indian Education and past director of the Office of Indian Education Programs for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior.

Tippeconnic, who is of Comanche and Cherokee heritage, was instrumental in bringing higher education to American Indian students in Oklahoma when he helped start a college there. Emphasizing the tribe’s native language and culture, the Comanche Nation College will soon achieve accreditation status.
ASU has one of the highest American Indian/Native American student populations in the nation with approximately 2,000 Native American students currently enrolled at the university. A new American Indian Studies master’s program that Tippeconnic was instrumental in creating began last year, offering a comprehensive view of Native American life with the opportunity to work directly with tribes.

ASU is also home to the American Indian Policy Institute that serves as a resource for research, partnerships and entrepreneurial endeavors that involve Arizona’s tribes and tribal nations throughout the United States.

American Indian Studies faculty at ASU are all American Indians and members of tribal nations while  American Indian Student Support Services supports the academic achievement and personal success of American Indian students while promoting traditional culture at Arizona State University.

A new course to be taught by Professor Donald Fixico at the university in the fall, “AIS 191: Preparing for Academic Success,” will mesh American Indian views and values with tools to succeed academically at ASU.

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HUD Supports Native American housing in Arizona

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $563 million to 353 American Indian and Alaskan Native entities that represent 539 tribes across the U.S.  HUD awarded 16 Arizona Native American communities $127.5 million provided through the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Program.  These funds are distributed annually to eligible Indian tribes or their tribally designated housing entities for a broad range of affordable housing activities (see local grants).

“Hardworking American families in tribal communities should be able to live in communities where they have a fair shot to reach their potential,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The resources provided today will give these tribal communities the tools to maintain quality housing, prevent overcrowding, improve public safety and provide other basic building blocks of security and success.”

IHBG funds primarily benefit hardworking families, living on reservations or in other Native American communities, who don’t have the financial resources to maintain good homes, schools, or other key contributors to economic security.  The amount of each grant is based on a formula that considers local needs and housing units under management by the tribe or designated entity.

Indian communities can use the funding for a variety of housing activities, including building affordable housing; providing assistance to existing housing that was developed under the Indian Housing Program authorized by the U.S. Housing Act of 1937; or other activities that create new approaches to provide more affordable housing for Native Americans. The funding is also used to offer housing services to eligible families and individuals; and establish crime prevention and safety measures.  The block grant approach to housing was established by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA).

Heard Museum - President and CEO retiring

Heard Museum names interim president and CEO

Mark Bonsall, chair of the Heard Museum Board of Trustees, has announced the board’s selection of Lee Peterson as interim president and CEO of the Heard. Peterson will act as the museum’s interim CEO upon the retirement of the current CEO, Letitia Chambers, who recently announced her retirement effective July 31. A search committee has been formed, and the selection process for a permanent replacement is expected to be completed in the fall.

Peterson, a museum member for more than 30 years and the current vice chair of the Heard’s board, recently retired as the CEO of Sun Health Services in the West Valley.

“Lee’s passion for the Heard is unparalleled, his community and business résumé is substantial, and his volunteer role within the Heard has been very extensive,” said Bonsall. “We are fortunate Lee is able to work with Letitia during this transition and to serve in an interim capacity thereafter.”

“I am glad to extend my volunteer service to include this interim CEO role,” said Peterson. “I look forward to working with our outstanding staff, Heard Museum Guild members and board leaders in the continuing development of this incredibly significant community enterprise.”

Peterson will serve as interim president and CEO on a volunteer, non-paid basis until a new executive is on board.

Peterson earned a bachelor of science degree from Wisconsin State University, River Falls, and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to his current volunteer work as a member of the Heard Museum Guild, the museum’s volunteer auxiliary, Peterson serves as chairman of the Glendale Municipal Properties Corporation and chairman of Glendale School District 40 Trust. He is a past chairman of Western Maricopa Coalition (WESTMARC) and the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association. He has worked with many other community and corporate organizations in the Valley. Peterson and his wife, Kris, a long-serving West Valley teacher, live in Glendale.