Community: Rising to a Changing Public Health Climate

As we move into a new phase of the pandemic and into a new world of public health, we take time to reflect on the grief, joy, fear, confusion, and resilience experienced since the emergence of COVID-19. The changes experienced in these last two years have been sudden and, many times, frightening. But, again and again, we saw Indian Country rise to the occasion. In the spirit of community and love, we saw Indian Country assist Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike- without the expectation of anything in return. By offering services to tribal and non-tribal members, healthier communities were and are being built.

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TPHC2022 Venue Change Official Statement

Dear 2022 honored guests and attendees, 

Our Tribal Public Health Conference 2022 theme, Community: Rising to a Changing Public Climate, aptly describes our experiences living through a global pandemic. For the past two years, our tribal communities have had to adapt, adjust, and rise to the challenges of a constantly changing public health climate brought about by the pandemic; yet the challenges presented opportunities for serving in innovative and creative ways. The challenges also provided opportunities to listen to our communities and respond to their needs. We at Southern Plains Tribal Health Board have had to do the same. We have been adapting, adjusting, listening, and responding, so we can continue to serve our tribal communities and partners in ways consistent with our core values of servant leadership, accountability, respect, innovation, excellence, and integrity. 

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Strength in Community, Power in Connection: A Call to Action for All Native People

Throughout my years working in American Native communities, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is the power of relationship. From the level of community, to family and other interpersonal levels of healing, relationship has been a most necessary catalyst. In the spring of 2018, along with my colleagues at Thrive Unltd., we launched “Re:Define,” a wellness initiative aimed at fostering awareness about and healing from the lingering effects of historical/intergenerational trauma within the Native American population. As we embarked on our journey, working with various communities, we were gifted an invaluable learning experience, as well. As Native American peoples, we hold “family” and “community” with high idealistic regard; however, along the way, it became apparent that the context of these terms had changed and no longer represented the same relationships. The overwhelming stories of various traumas, abuses, and adversities, faced by both young and old, painted a sobering picture of broken connections and withering bonds. This was a difficult truth to acknowledge and address, but it exposed a long-neglected, collective intergenerational wound, detrimental to Native American peoples of today. A common thread throughout all of these stories was the absence of love or the misconception of what a truly healthy connection represents. Read More “Strength in Community, Power in Connection: A Call to Action for All Native People”