Canoe Journey: Paddle to Quinault – August 2013
Every year, thousands of indigenous people paddle across the open ocean in cedar canoes as part of the annual Canoe Journey. Since its beginnings in 1993, the Canoe Journey has become a tradition that seeks to reinvigorate Native cultures and build bridges between Native and non-Native communities. This year, in a dramatic finale, participants from more than 60 different tribes paddled ashore at Point Grenville, Washington (in the Quinault Indian Nation) on August 6, 2013. Some came from the nearby regions of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, while others paddled all the way from Alaska, Hawaii, Japan and New Zealand! Members of Partnerships for Native Health were thrilled to be there to welcome them. Our team sponsored a table at the event, handing out health information to attendees from across the hemisphere.
- Partnerships for Native Health (P4NH) is excited to announce the launch of our new website. We are a research team located within the Center for Clinical and Epidemiological Research at the University of Washington. We work with local and national partners across the county to improve the health and quality of life for American Indian and Alaska Native populations. Please visit our website often to stay informed on our latest projects, our breaking public health news, and our calendar of events.
- Indigenous Cultures Day, August 17, 2013Partnerships for Native Health was delighted to set up a table at Seattle Center for Indigenous Cultures Day. We handed out health information and free beans to raise awareness about wellness and healthy eating. Indigenous Cultures Day seeks to bridge cultural divisions, personal prejudices, and government policies by offering a foundation for greater cultural understanding. Attendees enjoyed a variety of entertainment from around the world: dance groups of African, Thai, Aztec, Haida, Hawaiian, and South Pacific origin; Japanese Taiko drumming; Coast Salish storytelling; and music on acoustic guitar and classical flute. We were honored to be part of this cultural celebration
Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are among the worst health disparities suffered by American Indians and Alaska Natives. These conditions stem from the kinds of food many Native people eat. Too often, that means fast food, canned food, and other processed foods that are high in salt, sugar, and fat. The result is poor health.
To fight disparities in food and health, more and more community leaders are approaching the problem at the most basic level. As they recognize, the same foods that Native people ate before European colonization are the foods they should be eating right now: indigenous foods, rooted in the lands where Native people traditionally lived. The more Native people can take control of their food supply and eat foods that are indigenous and culturally congruent, the healthier Native communities will be.
November is National Family Health History month. Family members can share genetic, lifestyle, and environmental risks associated with illness and disease. Conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer can run in families, so a detailed family history could help patients and providers determine appropriate screenings at appropriate times.
Partnerships for Native Health is excited to announce our newest effort, the Family Health History Genome Project. With support from the National Institutes of Health, study staff will pilot-test My Family Health Portrait with partner sites. This is a publically accessible, standard-based family history tool that is widely used in the U.S. Study staff hope to determine whether this tool fits the health needs of Native patients and their providers.
We conduct community-centered research, training, education, and outreach to improve the health and quality of life of American Indian and Alaska Native populations.
Partnerships for Native Health (P4NH) is a program located at the Center for Clinical and Epidemiological Research (CCER) at the University of Washington. Formalized in 2009, it emerged from two decades of work with Native communities. Over time, the program has developed a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to achieve our mission of improving the health and well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native people of all ages. We have done so by incorporating these core principles: engagement and participation with our community partners; education, training, and capacity-building for Native people and communities; infrastructure development; technical assistance; research on healthcare and other community needs; and widespread sharing of our results in ways that recognize and respect the unique cultural contexts of American Indian and Alaska Native people.
If you happened to stop by our offices this summer, chances are you would find staff from Native People for Cancer Control filling bags with our very special bean soup mix. Each bag is stuffed with five different kinds of beans and a small card with a soup recipe. Also on the card is information explaining how eating beans can reduce your risk of cancer. Our bean soup mix is intended to launch conversations at community events, where we often set up tables for health education.
Indigenous Cultures Day at the Seattle Center gives indigenous peoples the opportunity to express their culture through performance, food, visual art, film, and other festive activities. The program is held annually in August and is free to the public. Last year, Indigenous Culture Day featured performances by Aztec, Filipino, Guelaguetza, Haida, Japanese, Maya, Panamanian, Peruvian, Tahitian, and Zapotec traditional dancers, representing North, Central, and South America as well as the islands of the Pacific. This year, the program will be held on Saturday, August 17, with events at the Seattle Center Armory and the Mural Amphitheatre from 10 AM to 7 PM.