Native American

Greg Thompson/USFWS [via Flickr]

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa we welcome back Nancy Jones, a respected elder from Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation near Fort Frances, Ontario.

She has worked for many years as a teacher and cultural advisor for schools and language revitalization programs in Ontario, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Photo provided by Arne Vainio

When Arne Vainio set out to write articles on the epidemic of Native youth suicide for Indian Country Today and Indianz.com, he put out a call for names of people who had taken their own lives.

What the Finnish-Ojibwe family medicine practitioner on the Fond du Lac reservation didn't expect was 109 names, including four from one family.

Dr. Arne Vainio sees the effects of poverty, substance abuse, tribes without the resources to provide programs for young people.  Factors as far back as the BIA boarding schools and as current as social media contribute to despair that can sometimes drive Native youth to suicide.

But Vainio is in a unique position to see more than one side of the story:  his father took his own life when Vainio was four years old.


SAMHSA/Ad Council

Native American teens experience the highest rate of suicide of any population in the United states, more than double that of the general population, according to the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute. And as is so often the case, alcohol factors into almost 70% of those deaths. 

The Mental Health Week on KUMD was made possible in part by the Human Development Center, Miller-Dwan Foundation and the St. Luke’s Foundation.

Photo 1: Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Flickr
Cheyenne woman Jennie Red Robe with her child.
 Location: Crow Reservation, Montana
Date: 1909
Photo 2: John Tewell
A black family at the Hermitage Plantation, Savannah, Georgia, USA, about 1907
Photo 3: Marion Doss/Flickr
Prisoners in the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, December 19, 1938.

 

Photo courtesy Michelle Johnson-Jennings

Through this series, Journey to Wellness in Indian Country, we have focused on various aspects of what has contributed to the health disparities that American Indians face and the culturally-rooted solutions being implemented in tribes across Minnesota and beyond.

Dr.  Michelle Johnson-Jennings says tribal people have had the secret to healthy living all along: the ancestors gave instructions for healthy, happy living in the stories that have been passed down through the generations.

Heidi Ehalt

Through this series, Journey to Wellness in Indian Country, we have focused on various aspects of what has contributed to the health disparities that American Indians face and the culturally-rooted solutions being implemented in tribes across Minnesota and beyond.

   Today we are talking about food. Our guest, The Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman, is one of the most innovative and hottest up and coming chefs in the nation. He is at the head of a movement to introduce indigenous cuisine into modern dining.

Photo 1: Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Flickr
Crow Woman and Child, Location: Crow Reservation, Montana
Photo 2: elycefeliz/Flickr
Photo 3: Raymund Flandez/Flickr
A Jewish woman walks towards the gas chambers with three young children after going through the selection process on the ramp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

  On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa we have another conversation with Leona Wakonabo and Gerri Howard.  They grew up on the Leech Lake Reservation and currently work at the Niigaane Immersion School in Leech Lake.  They are also one of the elders working for the Ojibwemotaadidaa Adult Immersion Program.  Our discussion is about immersion approaches to language education.

An important part of improving health and wellness in indigenous communities is research -- but how do you proceed when researchers have time and time again broken faith with the people they're professing to help?

©Derek Jennings

Many European Americans have a hard time understanding the concept of "historical trauma."

After all, if something happened decades or even hundreds of years ago, it's over; "move on," right?

The Australian Human Rights Commission explains historical trauma as  "the devastating trauma of genocide, loss of culture, and forcible removal from family and communities ... all unresolved and ... a sort of ‘psychological baggage... continuously being acted out and recreated..."

Center of American Indian and Minority Health

Native people in Minnesota die, on the average, ten years sooner than all other Minnesotans.

Part of that statistic comes from poverty and limited access to health care.

But the Center for American Indian and Minority Health at UMD is working the problem from both ends: recruiting Native students into careers in medicine so they can return to their communities and provide medical care.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

This episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa is part two of a conversation with Nancy Jones, a respected elder from Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation near Fort Frances, Ontario. She has worked for many years as a teacher and cultural advisor for schools and language revitalization programs in Ontario, Wisconsin and Minnesota. She shares life stories and talks about staying connected to the land, listening to the animals, finding and storing food, the medicine wheel, and the importance of being thankful. 

©Derek Jennings

Wellness is more than just an absence of disease.

It's physical and mental health, and as Native people are moving forward in their journey toward that health, they're doing so by looking backwards: back to the cultural and natural landscape that kept them well long before the time of frybread.

B A Bowen Photography (via Flickr)

  On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa we have a conversation with Nancy Jones, a respected elder from Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation near Fort Frances, Ontario.  She has worked for many years as a teacher and cultural advisor for schools and language revitalization programs in Ontario, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa we have a conversation with Leona Wakonabo and Gerri Howard.  They grew up on the Leech Lake Reservation and currently work at the Niigaane Immersion School in Leech Lake.  They are also one of the elders working for the Ojibwemotaadidaa Adult Immersion Program.  Our discussion is about the seasonal activities in their community when they were growing up, including fishing, making maple syrup, and looking for signs in nature.

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