July 26, 2023
The Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy (CIHRP) has received a $3.5 million donation from Novo Nordisk Inc., to fund the Indigenous Foodways and Health Initiative. The funds will support indigenous food systems and practices that strengthen language revitalization and access to traditional foods.
“After 20 years of working in public health with Native American communities, I have found that initiatives that support and strengthen cultural practices and traditions are the most effective strategies for promoting health,” said Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, professor of rural health and director of CIHRP, who also has a doctorate in public health and is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
“Gifts like this one from Novo Nordisk support Native peoples to implement programs of greatest priority to them, which are culturally centered and use indigenous research methods,” Jernigan said.
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