Journey to Wellness in Indian Country

Native kids aged 10 to 24 have the highest rate of suicide of any age group in Minnesota -- more than three times that of white kids. 

Jonathan Thunder. Used with permission.

Although you've probably never thought about it this way, European colonizers exploring the world were more concerned with making themselves comfortable in new places (read "more familiar/Euro-centric") than appreciating or adapting to the environments and cultures that were already there.

You may know folks like this; perhaps not "colonizers," but people who want to stay in the comfort of what they know as opposed to learning new things.

The Sioux Chef/Facebook

It's pretty easy to bring a skill like mindfulness to eating.

Paying attention to that bite you put in your mouth? Enjoying it? Simple.

But many indigenous people are aware that they're not eating the kinds of foods that were traditional  (and healthy) for them prior to European contact. And they're thinking about what they eat, and why, and where it comes from.

Ivy Vainio/Association of American Indian Physicians

Dr. Mary Owen has a lot to be proud of.

Not only is she president-elect of the American Association of American Indian Physicians, the Center for American Indian and Minority Health and the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth Campus welcomed a record-breaking 13 Native med students out of a class of 65 earlier this month.

mcav0y/Flickr

Duluth's Dr. Mary Owen, an Alaska Native and the head of UMD's Center of American Indian and Minority Health, isn't encouraged by the news from her friends and relatives in Juneau these days.  

photo by MMIWG-FFADA

Canada has finished its three-year inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous woman and girls. And they're calling it genocide. Is that the right word?

Wica Agli/Facebook

Jeremy NeVilles-Sorell just wishes he'd gotten started ten years ago.

Mending the Sacred Hoop's training and resource director is celebrating 25 years with the organization, long enough to see societal thought about violence against women begin to shift in some significant directions.

Thomas Hawk/Flickr

The National Indigenous Women's Resource Center keeps getting calls wondering how they're using the money they got from the distribution of the movie Wind River.

St. Louis County, MN

KUMD talks with Andrea Larson, a social worker with St. Louis County's Children and Family Services Indian Child Welfare Unit.  She has been recognized by the Minnesota Indian Child Welfare (ICWA) Advisory Council with its first ever Social Worker Award.  The ICWA Advisory Council created the award as a way to also acknowledge the good work that is happening in ICWA here in Minnesota. 

Missing KC-Kristopher Clarke/Facebook

Lissa Yellowbird-Chase knows first-hand about the violence and danger Native American women face.*

But she knows other things, too.  In Canada, a 2016 report found that indigenous women are five times more likely to be victims of homicide than non-indigenous women. But in the United States, says Yellowbird-Chase, there are 1-2% more missing and murdered indigenous men than women.

AICHO / Dabinoo 'Igan Domestic Violence Shelter

  [This episode of Journey to Wellness in Indian Country was originally aired on December 3, 2018, and was re-aired on December 31, 2018.] 

We speak with Shannon Larson, the Director of the Dabinoo 'Igan Domestic Violence Shelter (run by AICHO, the American Indian Community Housing Organization) about their move to a new, larger facility.

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