UA Little Rock to host open house, film screening exploring health and illness among native populations

The healing totem in the National Library of Medicine herb garden began its year-long journey in 2010, with the selection of a downed 500-year-old red cedar by Jewell Praying Wolf James.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will hold an open house and film screening for an exhibit exploring the concepts of health and illness among Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

The UA Little Rock Sequoyah National Research Center is hosting the “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness” exhibit until Aug. 3. The center will hold an open house and reception for the exhibit from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 11. Archivist Erin Fehr will introduce the exhibit.

“The Sequoyah National Research Center is very excited to host our first national traveling exhibit, especially one that has been critically acclaimed,” Fehr said. “We want visitors to understand the diversity of American Indian and Alaska Native perspectives and traditions, in particular their views on health and wellness, and walk away with a new appreciation of Native American lifeways.”

The exhibit explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness, and cultural life for native people and features interviews with more than 100 tribal leaders, healers, physicians, educators, and others. Through interviews, native people describe the impact of epidemics, federal legislation, the loss of land, and the effect of culture on the health of native individuals and communities.

In addition to the exhibit, UA Little Rock will host a film screening of “Heartbeat Alaska” at noon Wednesday, July 19, in Ottenheimer Library Room 535.

The Sequoyah National Research Center acquired the Jeanie Greene Heartbeat Alaska Film Collection in 2014. The collection is a record of contemporary Alaska Native life. In 1990, Jeanie Greene, an Inupiat journalist, established the television show “Heartbeat Alaska” as a forum for Alaska Native people to share the stories that impacted their lives on a daily basis.

The film screening will be a compilation of several episodes of “Heartbeat Alaska” and will cover topics like how and where elders gather plants for use in traditional medicines and how they are used; the impact youth camps have on the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse; how living a traditional lifestyle leads to overall wellness; and diabetes prevention campaigns.

The UA Little Rock Sequoyah National Research Center is located at 5820 Asher Ave., Suite 500, in University Plaza. The exhibit will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Erin Fehr at ehfehr@ualr.edu or 501.569.8336.

In the upper right photo, the healing totem in the National Library of Medicine herb garden began its year-long journey in 2010, with the selection of a downed 500-year-old red cedar by Jewell Praying Wolf James.

Share this Post:
Skip to toolbar