Indigenous Stewards: Environmental Health Stories
The Southwest Environmental Health Science Center (SWEHSC) is located on Tohono O’odham Nation traditional homelands at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. SWEHSC produces two educational OUTREACH techniques, an annual magazine, Indigenous Stewards and a Tribal Forum. Working to increase environmental health knowledge among tribal peoples, the publication and forum serve as a venue for stories to be heard and shared.
Traditional oral stories, in all societies, account for the way of life of a peoples. Stories assist individuals and communities to educate the young through vital teachings of life’s lessons. Most importantly, in the telling of the recent or distant past, it is the linking of people to the land.
In western society, stories can be translated as experiences of theories, science or facts that is born from trial, error, and success. The sharing of knowledge, and networking or kinship, provide collaborations to void the reinvention of the wheel and create capacity building solutions and approaches.
Indigenous Stewards and the Tribal Forum are dedicated to developing sustainable approaches to reduce hazardous environmental exposures to communities by: the promotion of environmental health literacy; serving as a non-biased source of scientific information to the public; provide environmental health educational resources; and supporting connections between SWEHSC investigators and the community.