Indigenous Perspectives

Indigenous Perspectives on Planetary Health

When: Friday, September 6, 12:00-1:15pm
Where: Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center, 326 Galvez St, Stanford, CA 94305

Indigenous voices have historically not been given a large platform in national and global discourse on climate change and other aspects of planetary health. This lunch session will allow conference participants to listen to some of those important voices.

Be’sha Blondin

Be’sha Blondin is an elder from the Sahtu Region of the NWT with 40 years of experience in indigenous traditional health and wellness. From her youth, Be’sha learned about environmental laws, traditional law, life skills, and knowledge and medicines of the land from her family and elders. She has worked with communities in the north and across Canada for over 35 years, delivering land-based healing programs; developing wellness plans; and teaching ceremonies, healing practices, cultural competency, and traditional knowledge approaches to wellness. Be’sha is an experienced healthcare administrator and program developer who has been involved in the development of many of the health programs that are still being delivered in the NWT today. In 2010, she founded Northern ICE to continue her work to strengthen Aboriginal communities in the north.

Rassi Nashalik

Rassi Nashalik is a retired award-winning media personality living in Yellowknife, NWT. She pioneered and hosted CBC North Igalaaq, an Inuktitut daily television show, and worked with the CBC for over 19 years. She is Inuk, growing up in Sauniqturaajuk, Nunavut, and learned a traditional lifestyle, taught by her parents using only the Inuktitut language and living off the land. When she was 10, she went to residential school in Pangnirtung. She furthered her education at the Churchill Vocational Centre in northern Manitoba and Algonquin College in Ottawa. Her experience also includes managing the Inuktitut section of the language bureau for the GNWT, acting as an interpreter and a community health representative in Pangnirtung. Each year she honours Inuit graduates in her community by lighting her Qulliq and explaining the significance of the Qulliq to Inuit culture. Rassi is strongly committed to Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (Inuit Traditional Knowledge) to preserve Inuit language and culture.

Kanyon “Coyote Woman” Sayers-Rood

Kanyon Sayers-Roods is Costanoan Ohlone and Chumash; she also goes by her given Native name, Hahashkani, which in Chumash means “Coyote Woman”. She is proud of her heritage and her native name (though it comes with its own back story), and is very active in the Native Community. She is an Artist, Poet, Published Author, Activist, Student and Teacher. The daughter of Ann-Marie Sayers, she was raised in Indian Canyon, trust land of her family, which currently is available for anyone in need of ceremony. Kanyon’s art has been featured at the De Young Museum, The Somarts Gallery, Snag Magazine, and numerous school projects. She is a recent graduate of the Art Institute of California, Sunnyvale, obtaining her Associate and Bachelor of Science degrees in Web Design and Interactive Media. She is motivated to learn, teach, and to continue doing what she loves, Art.

With an introduction by:

Nicole Redvers

Dr. Nicole Redvers, ND, MPHc is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota’s Family & Community Medicine’s department Indians into Medicine program and currently lives in Grand Forks, ND, with her family. She is a northern Canadian leader in the development of health and wellness services and has been awarded at the territorial and national level for her accomplishments. Dr. Redvers has dedicated over a decade volunteering in innovative models of traditional healthcare delivery and volunteered medical service to underserviced populations around the globe with the desire to bridge the gap between Western medicine and Indigenous ways of healing. She is the author of The Science of the Sacred (North Atlantic Books) and has received both trade and academic coverage in addition to being a current Dartmouth Merit Scholar at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. She was previously the only practicing Dene naturopathic doctor in Canada raised in the Northwest Territories small communities in Treaty 8 territory. She is a member of the Deninu K’ue First Nation and continues her work in the NWT as the board chair of the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing traditional Indigenous medicine in the Canadian north in addition to working to protect and honour Mother Earth.

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