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Tribal health care series emphasizes traditional knowledge in central Wyoming

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Rocky Mountain Tribal Leadership Council
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These presentations give attendees a crash course in epidemiology and how it can benefit tribal communities.

Epidemiology is the study of health across large populations. Next week a presentation in central Wyoming will focus on how tribal health and epidemiology mix.

Cassie Weed, Epidemiological Data Coordinator at Central Wyoming College, said typically sciences have strayed away from including more personal details of a community, but she said in this series they are going to dig into the more complex needs of tribal communities.

“What's unique about these trainings is that it builds the connection between more of the Western sciences and the traditional knowledge, also known as Indigenous science,'' she said.

Weed said the presentation is on tribal epidemiology and is a take on Indigenous science that looks at disease regulation and collects important data for tribal nations to use. She said the data they collect is more than just numbers.

“So, when we talk about Indigenous science, we're also talking about the four main pillars which are spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health,” said Weed.

This is the first presentation of a bigger series. There will be upcoming presentations on data collecting, survey development, and grant writing with an Indigenous lens in 2023.

The series is sponsored by Montana State University through the Rock Mountain Tribal Leadership Council and the Center for Disease Control.

“Epidemiology 101” will be presented at the Frank Wise Building in Fort Washakie on Nov. 15 and 17 at 11 a.m.

The event is open to the public.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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