In an effort to support the primary purpose of the original Native Tradition, Environment and Community Health (TEACH) Project, to identify core concepts of Native Environmental Health Science as distinct from the mainstream western understanding of the discipline, a poster contest was launched to help share the core concepts of Native environmental health that have been identified: the circle of the community, the circle of wellness, the circle of inter-relationship, and barriers to renewal. Thematic art submissions were accepted that moved forward the mission of the Native TEACH Project to connect people through cultural and traditional expressions of Native Environmental Health Stewardship. Artwork visually emphasized and answered the question “Native Environmental Health is…” The posters are a part of a series of original artwork created by American Indian artists. Each image represents one artist’s vision of what Environmental Health looks like in a Native context, emphasizing the values of Community, Wellness, and Inter-Relationship.
The primary purpose of Fact Sheets is to provide information for Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers working with tribal communities, academic institutions, research organizations, and agencies. In the past, research in and on Indigenous communities was often exploitive, unethical and even abusive. Both Fact Sheets provide an overview of the ways in which we can collectively move forward towards ethical and equitable research partnerships between Western scientists and Indigenous communities.
As we move forward collectively to rebuild trust and develop culturally relevant partnerships to improve health outcomes, we must acknowledge that Indigenous communities and western science may have different ways of understanding the concept of “autonomy” and “traditional knowledge”. Only by openly discussing and being willing to revise what we mean by “autonomy” and “traditional knowledge” can we develop healthy, mutually beneficial partnerships based on trust.
Links to Factsheets:
— Michelle Montgomery