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COMMUNITY HEALTH EDUCATION NEWSLETTER - FEBRUARY, 2019

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Following the Tradition of Oral Story Telling: Sharing a Message of Wellness

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Following the Tradition of Oral Story Telling:  Sharing a Message of Wellness

 Mikwendaagoziwag

 (they are remembered)

HANNAHVILLE INDIAN COMMUNITY – Mia Smith, a Hannahville Indian Community family member shared her family health story on the importance of knowing family health history, the importance of early screening and the tools she and her family use to cope and care for her mother who is suffering from multiple forms of cancer, including breast and colorectal cancer.

Mia shared her story for a statewide campaign distributed by the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan to encourage Native Americans to share their family health history with their, family, and their doctors so they can be assessed for their individual cancer screening needs.

“Knowing your health history is huge.  We talk a lot about our family history.  We just happen to know that.  Knowing I’m at risk, I watch for everything,” Mia explains in her story.

“Traditional story telling is a Native American tradition used to educate children about cultural norms and values, and integrating family health history into these discussions will inform family members what diseases run in their family.  This information is key to cancer prevention, and delaying onset and heart disease,” said Beth Sieloff, Program Manager at Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan.

Cancer, diabetes and heart disease don’t have to be a death sentence in Native American communities. Some diseases like cancer are preventable and curable with early screening.  Native Americans have a higher risk of developing CRC prior to reaching the age 50, the recommended U.S. Preventative Services Task Force screening age for colorectal cancer. Additionally, Native Americans (NA) in Michigan are more likely to develop colorectal cancer (CRC) at a younger age than non-Hispanic Whites.  Colorectal cancer is one cancer that is often preventable when individuals notify their physicians that they have family history of colorectal cancer.  It is important that Native Americans continue their cultural traditions and integrate family health history and wellness traditions into the stories of their family history

 

Mia’s story will be distributed as a three-minute digital story for airing in tribal health clinics, at health presentations, and available online.  The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan is distributing a shortened thirty second version of her story to air as a PSA throughout Michigan.  There is also a sixty second radio PSA that will be distributed, along with a Family Health History education card funded by MDHHS, that is culturally specific to American Indians and the importance of knowing and sharing family health history. 

This production was supported by the Cooperative Agreement NU58DP006085 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The stories were filmed and edited by a Northern Michigan Company, Lamphere Visuals of Gaylord, Michigan.

To see Mia’s full story and to learn more, visit http://www.itcmi.org/FamilyHealthHistory

Mia Smith resides in the Hannahville Indian Community and tells her story on the importance of talking about your family health history and scheduling your regular cancer screenings with your doctor.  Her story is told as a digital story, TV and radio PSAs, and distributed by the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan.

The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc. is a 501(C)3 non-profit corporation duly organized under a state charter filed April 16, 1968.  The agency represents all twelve federally recognized tribes in Michigan.  The agency is divided into several different divisions, including:  headstart; early headstart; health services; behavioral health; environmental services; child, family, and education services; and administration.  The agency employs approximately 160 employees. 35 of these employees are based in the agency’s central office in Sault Ste. Marie, while member tribes have offices and staff on site.  Visit http://www.itcmi.org/ to learn more about the agency. This production was supported by the Cooperative Agreement NU58DP006085 from the Centers for Disease Conrol and Prevention.  Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Media Contact:

Mike Willette

Communications Specialist

Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan

906-632-6896 x.110

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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