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Cathy Robbins Thinking Aloud

Getting Healthy, the Native Way


Mark Bittman, in his column in the New York Times, recently remarked that few Americans know the name of our current Surgeon-General. Her name is Regina Benjamin, and she is, in a sense, “the nation’s doctor.” But Bittman contends that she is not doing much to keep us healthy. Benjamin is especially weak in addressing the role of “big food” in making us one of the unhealthiest industrialized nations in the world. American Indians have some of the worst health outcomes in the U.S. But can we learn anything about getting healthy the Native way?

American Indian healing is centuries old. And as far as Indians are concerned, it works! In a survey taken at an Indian Health Service Clinic in Milwaukee, 38 percent of patients said  Read More 
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Bones Make a Difference

The people of Pecos and Jemez Pueblo accompany the remains of their ancestors―behind them in the white semi-truck―to their final rest. Photo by Cary Herz.

Bones! American Indians must have felt the pain of remembrance when the remains of Richard III were displayed, and the world responded with a “frenzy of forensic romance,” according to Newsweek. The monarch’s bones had rested serenely under the asphalt of a parking lot in England until researchers found them and confirmed his identity. He met a gruesome end at the Battle of Bosworth field in 1485, and his body, which showed signs of two lethal blows to the head as well as “humiliation” wounds after death, was simply stuffed into a grave. Richard violent death ended a  Read More 
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