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Community Comes Together to Promote Indigenous Health

Dr. Julianna Reese gives a presentation at Indigenous Health Community Day

At a community event to build connections for Indigenous Health, students and community members gathered to hear from Dr. Julianna Reece, a pioneer in Indigenous Health who leads the Healthy Tribes program at the CDC, and to participate in activities, traditional food, and a round dance to build Native engagement.

At the recent event, Indigenous Health: Connecting with Wellbeing and Community Day, on Saturday, February 4, students, faculty, community members, and alumni all came together to make connections that will help promote health in tribal communities.

The featured speaker, Dr. Julianna Reece MPH, MBA (Diné), 2022-2023 Alumna of the Year award winner for the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH), gave a compelling and inspirational presentation about health in Indigenous communities. Julianna began her presentation by tracking the history of the U.S. federal government's fraught relations with Native American sovereign nations, and then followed shifting policies across the past century to introduce the innovative Healthy Tribes program that she currently leads for the CDC.

The presentation by Dr. Reece was followed by a question and answer session, then by activities and demonstrations guided by Native students and participants. The program included a Smudging Demonstration given by Mr. Miguel Flores Jr. (Pascua Yaqui and Tohono O'odham), native art activities led by Agnes Attakai (Diné), and a Blue Corn Mush Demonstration given by Nadira Mitchell (Diné), Miss Native American University of Arizona (MNUA) and Dynnika Tso (Diné), MNUA First Attendant. Participants also enjoyed traditional Tohono O’odham Nation food provided by Thomasa Rivas (Tohono O’odham). The afternoon’s activities ended with a Round Dance guided by The Haven – Recovery with Respect, a non-profit recovery group.

We want to thank everyone who came to join us for a meaningful day of connection and community. We appreciate your participation! Please watch our MEZCOPH Indigenous Health webpage for news and upcoming events, including events coordinated by the IndigiWellbeing program.

YouTube Icon View Dr. Reece's Presentation on YouTube     View Dr. Reece's Presentation Slides     View more photos on our Flickr Gallery

Dean Iman Hakim

Dean Iman Hakim welcomes the participants and introduces Dr. Julianna Reece at the event.

Dr. Julianna Reese with students

Dr. Julianna Reece MPH '96, MBA spoke with public health students after her presentation.

Agnes Attakai, MPA, with UArizona students Nadira Mitchell, and Dynnika Tso on the Blue Corn Mush demonstration

Educator Agnes Attakai, MPA, coordinates with MNUA, Nadira Mitchell, and MNUA First Attendant Dynnika Tso on the Blue Corn Mush demonstration.

Thomasa Rivas serves traditional O'odham food

Chef Thomasa Rivas prepared traditional Tohono O'Odham food for lunch.

Round dance on the lawn

Students joined Dr. Julianna Reece in a traditional Round Dance after lunch.

The Haven womens’ drum circle

Members of The Haven – Recovery with Respect, a non-profit recovery group, performed songs for the community.

The University of Arizona red triangle graphic