University of Minnesota Duluth block M and wordmark

Global Symposium

Read More Homepage Stories

sweetgrass- University of Minnesota Duluth
Terry Maresca - University of Minnesota Duluth  
Terry Maresca, (Mohawk), clinical assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, will present a workshop at the event. She combines her Western training with her knowledge of plant medicine. She maintains a medicinal garden and is a frequent public speaker on the topic of combining Western and traditional approaches to health care.  
rich university of minnesota duluth  

The Research for Indigenous Community Health Center will hold a symposium, "Global Approaches to Indigenous Health Promotion" in Duluth on August 15–17, 2013.

The Research for Indigenous Community Health Center (RICH) and this symposium is a collaboration between the College of Pharmacy and the College of Medicine on the Duluth campus.

Michelle Johnson-Jennings, Ph.D., (Choctaw Nation), founder and codirector of the UMD campus College of Pharmacy’s  RICH Center and assistant professor, said, "The event features Indigenous physicians, pharmacists, and speakers from around the world." Topics discussed will include: the role of physicians as professionals and role models; improving health outcomes for Indigenous people by allowing them a voice in their own care, becoming a health advocate and collaborator, and traditional perspectives on wellness, In addition, a traditional medicine workshop will be offered.

The event opens on Thursday, August 15, with an evening Poster Presentation and Reception at the RICH Center’s new facility located in the historic Trepanier Hall in downtown Duluth, Minn. It ends on Saturday, August 17 with a morning health and wellness walk/run. The main events take place on Friday, August 16.

Melissa Walls, Ph.D., RICH Center codirector and assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School said she has learned a lot from the Indigenous people who present at the symposium. "It's very powerful to realize how similar the experience has been in New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the United States, and around the globe. We hear a shared history of colonization that has impacted our health."

Featured Keynote Speakers for the Symposium include:
Leonie Pihama
, Ph.D., (Maori), senior research fellow at the Te Kotahi Institute, University of Waikato, and director of Maori And Indigenous Analysis Ltd, a Kaupapa Maori research company;
Malia Villegas, Ph.D., (Alutiiq/Sugpiaq, Alaska Native), National Congress on American Indians, director of research;
Karina Walters, Ph.D., (Choctaw Nation), director professor and William P. and Ruth Gerberding Endowed Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington, director of Indigenous Wellness Research Institute;
Rihi Te Nana (Maori), University of Waikato, Maori Research.

A Traditional Medicines Workshop will be presented by Terry Maresca, M.D. (Mohawk), clinical assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine and the Native American Center of Excellence in Seattle, Wash., and works with tribal elders in incorporating traditional healing medicines with western medicine.

An additional workshop on Overcoming Racism will be offered by Antony Stately, Ph.D., (Ojibwe/Oneida), director of Mental Health, Chemical Health and Employee Assistance Programs at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

The community is invited to participate but registration is limited. To register, see: Symposium Information For information, contact Michelle Johnson-Jennings or Melissa Walls

About the RICH Center
As an intercollegiate collaboration between the College of Pharmacy and the College of Medicine on the Duluth campus, RICH aims to provide an interdisciplinary center for research collaborations with Indigenous entities. RICH further aims to foster scholarly works that will identify health barriers and protective factors to increase health care equity for Indigenous patients. Walls said it is important for the center to build strong relationships. "In the past, researchers have worked with a tribe and when the project was over, they had to turn around and leave. With our center we have established a long-standing partnership with Indigenous researchers and allies and we have become a permanent resource for tribes."

The RICH Center Goals:
  • To identify risk factors and other barriers to Indigenous health and implications for practice
  • To develop collaborative relationships with Minnesota and outlying academic entities, research partners, states, tribal communities and clinics
  • To provide an interdisciplinary cohort of health researchers as a resource for tribal community health research
  • To develop community based research and grants in order to increase Indigenous health equity

The RICH Center Vision:
The center's vision is to decrease American Indian health disparities and increase American Indian health equity through culturally respectful and responsive research collaborations involving University of Minnesota researchers, university affiliates and interested tribal communities.

Written by Cheryl Reitan, Summer, 2013

Homepage Stories | News Releases
UMD home page editor, Cheryl Reitan,

Did you find what you were looking for? YES NO

Choose appearance:
[ Desktop | Mobile friendly ]