Friday, December 9, 2016

Global Indigeneity and Sustainability Seminar

November 28, 2016

One of the last seminars of the year was great one! I was able to hear from health professionals as well as a community member with his own perspective on this very important and urgent issue.

Alex Adams, MD, PhD, Montana State University presented about Partnerships for Health with American Indian Communities. She talked about the health issues affecting Native American communities in Wisconsin, specifically, Menominee. Childhood obesity prevention was the focus of the study because the Native American population had the highest percent among other minority groups. The factors that played a role in the Menominee community were lots of convenience stores, no grocery stores, no playgrounds, and no access to fresh produce. Using the Menominee community engagement meetings as a starting point in 2011, the Menominee people were able to implement programs to address childhood obesity. The community gardening program through Food Distribution is an example of how the Menominee people took action and began to work towards a healthy solution.

Guy Reiter, Menominee County Community Organizer, spoke of using language and cultural as an approach to community health. He talked about balancing our spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health. “Standing on my head, I see the strength of our community is in the roots”, Guy stated. One way he has addressed community health is implementing monthly Pre-contact feasts in the Menominee community focusing on traditional foods without preservatives. Another way, is sharing community knowledge by working to develop a calendar of seasonal events and happenings, such as, specific times of the year when most people are sick. This calendar will be yet another way to help the community to be healthy by tracking patterns. Having community dances is also an option Guy and fellow community members are considering in the near future.  So look forward to a jigging competition in South Branch.

Lori DiPrete Brown, UW Madison-Global Health Institute presented on, “Making the Local to Global Connection in Health and Well Being”. Lori worked with young girls in Honduras using a global health approach. Global health, Brown said contains collaborative research, health, and action in all environments. Global health works with populations, not individuals. Under the scope of global health are communicable disease, nutrition, environmental health and special populations. Trends include growing and shrinking populations, urban dwelling, diets high in sugar, fat, salt, and physical inactivity. Challenges in global health are AIDS, no clean water, inadequate bathrooms, obesity and sexual violence. Policy dealt with national security, trade, and inequality that is unethical and unjust. Lastly, Lori spoke about the girls in Honduras and of other women groups in Latin America and the inroads she has achieved with the groups.  

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