Spirit Lake to host exhibit on native healthFORT TOTTEN, N.D. - Members of the Spirit Lake Dakota nation will add their voices Thursday to a series of stories linking health, illness and culture for a national exhibit that will be launched in Fort Totten.
By: Jennifer Johnson, Forum News Service, INFORUM
FORT TOTTEN, N.D. - Members of the Spirit Lake Dakota nation will add their voices Thursday to a series of stories linking health, illness and culture for a national exhibit that will be launched in Fort Totten.
The Cankdeska Cikana Community College will be hosting the “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness” exhibit, which includes interactive media and interviews with American Indians, Hawaiians and natives of Alaska. The exhibit, produced through the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md., will be held at 11 a.m. at the college’s amphitheater.
Cynthia Lindquist, college president and project adviser, said this is the result of several years of interviews from more than 150 tribal people.
“What’s wonderful about it is that it’s our own voices speaking about various topics — death and dying, history, disease, athleticism,” she said. “It’s interactive, too, so to me it’s a great marriage of history and culture and technology, all specific to health and wellness.”
Spirit Lake members will share their stories for the video component of the traveling exhibit, which will stop in Alaska, Hawaii and Oklahoma before being offered to other sites nationwide, said Melanie Modlin, spokeswoman for the National Library of Medicine, which is a component of the National Institutes of Health, also in Bethesda.
In every city where the exhibit is featured, residents “will be able to make new videos and have that added to the existing show,” she said.
“We’re very excited about bringing this out to Native people and people who are not, just so everyone can hear these stories,” she said. “I think it’ll be a one-of-a-kind event.”
The exhibit already has been featured at the National Library. Lindquist said she knew many people wouldn’t necessarily travel to the nation’s capital to view it, and likely weren’t aware of its existence, so she pushed for bringing the exhibit to the tribal colleges and general public.
“It’s really for the public’s information and education,” she said. “I’m just delighted.”