Panel Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

Creating the Indigenous public health workforce; Innovation, social justice and responding to the needs of the community (#14)

Maile Taualii 1 , Ryan Artero 1 , Asha Bradley 1 , Napua Casson 1 , Kristy Peshlakai 1
  1. University of Hawai’i, Honolulu , HI, USA

In an effort to address the disparities faced by Native Hawaiians and other Indigenous Peoples, the University of Hawai‘i, Office of Public Health Studies launched a specialisation in Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health (NHIH) within the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. This Master of Public Health (MPH) degree was the first in the world to have an International focus, with leadership and guidance from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US.

Key Findings: Since its launch in the fall of 2013, 25 students have enrolled in the program, of which 90% were representative of six Indigenous nations. There have been 17 graduates, with eight continuing on with doctoral programs. This graduate degree program not only is building the Indigenous Public Health Workforce, but is also promoting cultural safety practices and influencing Indigenous health policy, public health education, health service mandates, research methodology, and program evaluation.

This panel will showcase the work of several Indigenous Health students:

  • Preparing Cultural Practitioners: A Physical Therapy Perspective to Health Promotion
  • Mana Wahine: Honoring the Power of Indigenous Women and Decolonizing Native Hawaiian Gender Roles
  • Re-Incorporating Navajo Traditional Practices to Promote Health for Both Moms and Babies
  • Medicinal Gardens; Growing and Nurturing Identity through Plant Medicine.

Recommendations: This specialisation is designed to prepare students with public heath skills and training necessary to serve Indigenous People globally and assist in addressing their health and wellness needs by contextualising health determinants within historical and political frameworks. In addition, the specialisation will provide extensive training in culturally sensitive research ethics which is critical for safely and effectively implementing public health research and programs aimed to address and eliminate the inequities faced by Indigenous People.

  1. Key References: Taualii, M., Delormier T., Maddock, J. A New and Innovative Public Health Specialization Founded on Traditional Knowledge and Social Justice: Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Health. Hawai‘i Journal of Medicine & Public Health, V 72 No. 4 April 2013