Native American Heritage Month

Celebrating Native American Culture and Contributions to Science

In fall, THRO celebrates National Native American Heritage Month, a special opportunity for us to highlight American Indian and Alaska Native culture, ingenuity, and contributions to biomedical research. Be sure to join us for our annual guest lecture in November, see our yearly posters, and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for NIH Tribal health research highlights and shareable information all month long – and beyond!

November 16, 2022

2022 National Native American Heritage Month
2022 National Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month Annual Guest Lecture
Protecting the Health of Future Generations Through Community-Based Research and Actions: Working in Partnership with the Tribes of Sivuqaq, Alaska

Join THRO and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) on Wednesday, November 16 at 3 p.m. ET for the annual Native American Heritage Month guest lecture. Learn about NIEHS-funded environmental health research in Alaska with co-presenters Pamela Miller and Viola “Vi” Waghiyi, of the Alaska Community Action on Toxics. They will share stories about the region and how this collaborative research began and discuss their decades of experience conducting community-based participatory research with local Tribes, including how their work has been informed by traditional and community knowledge, a summary of findings, and policy actions and interventions to protect health. Watch live: https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=46388

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November 17, 2021

2021 National Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month Annual Guest Lecture
Interconnectedness of Culture and Science

Dr. Donald Warne, of the University of North Dakota, offered a virtual guest lecture about the interconnectedness of Native culture and science. Watch the recorded lecture and read the overview summarizing his key observations.

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November 10, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, THRO was working with Tribal Nations during Native American Heritage Month and throughout the year to rapidly respond to urgent questions and information needs. THRO hosted an NIH-wide educational meeting about how to effectively communicate important health information to American Indian and Alaska Native communities, featuring speakers from the Indian Health Service and Johns Hopkins University. No public event was held.

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November 18, 2019

2019 National Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month Annual Guest Lecture
Substance Use and Mental Health in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

Dr. Melissa Walls, of Johns Hopkins University, offered a lecture about substance use and mental health in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

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November 19, 2018

2018 National Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month Annual Guest Lecture
American Indian Therapeutic Traditions

Dr. Joseph Gone, of Harvard University, offered a lecture about American Indian therapeutic traditions and modern health treatments.

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November 9, 2017

2017 National Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month Annual Guest Lecture
Organically Synthesizing Solutions to Increasing Native American Participation in Chemistry

Dr. Eric J. Sorensen, Ph.D., of Princeton University, offered a lecture about his research in organic chemistry synthesis and the challenges of increasing Native American participation in chemistry.

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November 28, 2016

Native American Heritage Month Storytelling Challenge
Health and Wellness in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, THRO announced a video storytelling challenge to create awareness around American Indian and Alaska Native culture and how it supports health and well-being in Tribal communities. Winning submissions were selected in 2017. View the selected videos.

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Resources and Information: Culture, Research, and Health

Blog Post: How to Effectively Communicate About Tribal Health Research

Dr. David R. Wilson, the director of THRO, shares his thoughts in a post on NIH’s Science, Health, and Public Trust blog about the importance of understanding the history of Tribes in the U.S. to better communicate with and about American Indians and Alaska Natives.

I Strengthen My Nation Challenge Winners

American Indian and Alaska Native communities have inherent strengths and cultures that foster healthy communities. NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse and We R Native asked youth ages 14-25 to share their ideas about Indigenous resilience to substance misuse through art or community projects for the I Strengthen My Nation Challenge competition. Young people from 37 Tribal Nations showcased their creativity, strength, and passion for enhancing health in their communities. View the video replay celebrating Challenge winners.

Student Spotlight with Leah Nez

In a Q&A with THRO, Leah Nez discusses her background, experience as a post baccalaureate fellow with NIH, her path to studying bioethics, and advice for other students interested in science research and health.

NIH Traditional Medicine Summit Report

The NIH Traditional Medicine Summit Report details a historic gathering for NIH that provided a foundation for integrating traditional healing knowledge with research.

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This page last reviewed on October 28, 2022