Twelfth Native Women & Men’s Wellness Conference Held in San Diego

"In Balance" by Dana TigerThe American Indian Institute, an OU Outreach program, once again hosted the Native Women & Men’s Wellness Conference March 17-20, held in San Diego, Calif.

The theme of this year’s conference was “In Balance,” which was inspired by the artwork of Dana Tiger, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. The focus was on restoring the mind, body, and spirit.

The conference brought together people from American Indian tribes, Alaska Native and Canadian First Nation communities, tribal health system and IHS employees, public health and social science researchers, social workers, counselors, psychologists, educators, traditional food educators, health promotion specialists and wellness leaders. More than 75 Native nations were represented during the conference.

Conference tracks included health promotion and disease prevention, behavioral health and wellness. Health promotion and disease prevention focused on areas such as school-based health promotion, programs for elders and social marketing. Behavioral health addressed issues such as alcohol and substance abuse prevention, mental health support and suicide prevention. Finally, the wellness track emphasized more hands-on learning through traditional dance workshops, arts and crafts, a 5K fun walk and run, and other workshops.

Dana Tiger, the conference artist, is a nationally acclaimed, award-winning artist best known for her watercolors and acrylic paintings. She primarily focuses on depictions of the strength and determination of Native American women. Her paintings are exhibited in galleries, universities, Native American institutions and state buildings nationwide. Tiger and her husband manage the Tiger Art Gallery in Muskogee, Okla., and Tiger also founded the nonprofit Legacy Cultural Learning Community, which helps nurture Native youth through the celebration and sharing of tribal languages and culture. To learn more about Tiger and view some of her artwork, visit www.tigerartgallery.com.

For more information about the work of the American Indian Institute, visit www.aii.ou.edu.

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