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Researchers Study Resilient American Indian Elders

Aired 8/28/13 on KPBS News.

Health researchers at all three universities and one Navajo college in Arizona received $6 million to establish the Center for American Indian Resilience.

Health researchers at all three universities and one Navajo college in Arizona received $6 million to establish the Center for American Indian Resilience.

The grant will enable them to study how American Indian communities thrive despite high rates of chronic disease and poverty.

Part of the project involves interviewing American Indian elders about what has been critical to live a healthy, prosperous life.

"That’s the most exciting part that it’s kind of a different paradigm to look at the assets and to look at the positives," said Nicky Teufel-Shone, a public health professor at the University of Arizona.

"There are such resources in the communities and I think if we turn and recognize those resources we might have more success in building health in those communities," Teufel-Shone said.

The elders’ video diaries will then be shared with Native communities and public health college students on the reservation. The research gathered at the center will help inform public health education and policy.

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