Native TEACH Project

The Native TEACH Project

The Native Tradition, Environment And Community Health (TEACH) Project began in 2008 with a collaborative grant supplement funded by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The grant funds were shared between the CEEH and the Northwest Indian College, our partners on the project. After 2008, the work was supported by the CEEH Community Outreach and Ethics Core and the Tribal partnerships that the project helped foster. In 2013-14, a new NIEHS collaborative grant supplement was awarded to CEEH, in partnership with the University of Arizona Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center. This Supplement grant supported conversations in tribal communities to collect American Indian environmental health stories.

To learn more about current partnership activities, please contact Liz Guzy (eguzy@uw.edu, 206-685-5333).

 

Key Accomplishments

The primary purpose of the original project was to identify the core concepts of NATIVE Environmental Health Science, as distinct from the mainstream western understanding of the discipline. Between 2008 and 2014, we:

  • Supported the development and piloting of a class on community-based participatory research methods at NWIC.
  • Created a written survey exploring perspectives on the relationship between health and the environment, important issues within native communities, and the prospect of collaboration with larger universities.
  • Collected surveys on a variety of issues related to Native Environmental Health from 60 NWIC students
  • Adapted the written survey for use in two student-facilitated talking circles at NWIC.
  • Administered the written survey to over 100 tribal college students and staff at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) student conference in Missoula (March 2009). 30 different tribal colleges were represented.
  • Jointly analyzed the qualitative data we had collected and identified several underlying themes and three core concepts of Native Environmental Health.
  • Used these themes and concepts to create a traditional story called "The Return" as a way to report our findings back to our communities.
  • Supported two NWIC student interns who created a short photo-montage film based on the story.
  • Hosted a series of informal discussions with elders and the NWIC community, culminating in a presentation of "The Return" to a gathering of over 100 elders.
  • Presented our findings at two national and one international Native health research conferences.
  • Returned to the AIHEC Student Conference in 2011 to share the movie of "The Return" with that community as way to bring the project full circle.
  • In partnership with a young artist from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), created a comic/coloring book version of "The Return" (see below) and distributed hard copies to NWIC, IAIA, and at the 2013 AIHEC student conference in Green Bay (March 2013).
  • Created two "Fast Facts" sheets related to research partnerships with Indigenous Communities (see below).
  • Solicited original artwork for two "Native Environmental Health" posters based on our research findings (see below).
  • Identified Native researchers from the Puget Sound region to hold discussions about environmental health in their communities as part of the 2013-14 Supplement Grant, American Indian Environmental Health Stories.
  • Held conversations with six researchers in their own tribal communities. Conversations occurred in tribal college classes, Moms groups, Team Teach groups, art shows, and throughout tribal communities.
  • Created a 10-minute Native TEACH Digital Story that features the researchers and their projects was created. It can be viewed here: http://vimeo.com/107813492.
  • Plan to host a year-long calendar blog with monthly blog posts. Each month focuses on a tribal community and includes 4 topics: An Environmental Health Challenge, Community Art Project, Traditional Food, and a Call to Action. We will post a link here when the blog goes live.
  • Supported the University of Arizona in their work with the Tohono O’odham Nation. They conducted a Leadership School summer Environmental Health Sciences course with high school students at Ha:san Preparatory School, and worked on research related to high arsenic levels on the reservation. Their culminating product will be an Environmental Health Magazine to report on the southwest portion of American Indian Environmental Health Stories Project.

 

Downloadable Resources Created through the Native TEACH Project

The Return Comic Book Cover

The Return: A Native Environmental Health Story
(Comic & Coloring Book)

Click HERE (or on the image) to view or download (PDF, 6.1 MB)

Thumbnail of Cherokee Poster

Native Environmental Health Poster (Cherokee Version)

Click HERE (or on the image) to view or download (PDF, 2.69 MB). The poster is designed to be printed on "ledger" sized standard paper (11" by 17").

If you would like to receive a hard copy of this poster (subject to availability), please fill out the online form that can be found HERE.

Thumbnail of SW Poster

Native Environmental Health Poster (O'odham Version)

Click HERE (or on the image) to view or download (PDF, 2.79 MB). The poster is designed to be printed on "ledger" sized standard paper (11" by 17").

If you would like to receive a hard copy of this poster (subject to availability), please fill out the online form that can be found HERE.

Thumbnail Fast Facts Responsible Partnerships

Fast Facts About - Responsible Research Partnerships with Indigenous Communities

Click HERE (or on the image) to view or download (PDF, 636 KB)

Thumbnail of Fast Facts Decolonizing Partnerships

Fast Facts About - Indigenous Cultural Autonomy: Decolonizing Autonomy to Transform Research Practices

Click HERE (or on the image) to view or download (PDF, 310 KB)

Native TEACH Brochure Cover

The Native TEACH Project Brochure (2011)

Click HERE (or on the image) to view or download (PDF, 1.4 MB). Includes the full text of the original version of the story of "The Return."

 

To watch a photo-montage Version of "The Return," Click on the image below.

 

"The Return" grew out of a research project conducted by the Native Tradition, Environment And Community Health (TEACH) Partnership in Washington State. The NIEHS Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health and Northwest Indian College (NWIC) collaborated on the project. The film presents a traditional story, read by a student from NWIC and accompanied by images taken by NWIC student interns. The research project sought to identify the core concepts of environmental health in a Native context. These three concepts are presented in the film, along with barriers to achieving health and wellness in Native communities.