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CSUB To Host Traveling Exhibition, Guest Speaker Mark Trahant To Address Native American Health and Wellness

The Walter W. Stiern Library at California State University, Bakersfield will host their “Walter Presents” series with speaker Mark Trahant at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in the library’s Dezember Reading Room. Trahant’s talk, titled, “Rethinking Native Health: The Power of Data and Story,” will discuss the state of health care for Native Americans.

Trahant, a former Kaiser Family Foundation fellow who looks at the Native American health system and its potential, will address the Indian Health Service and questions about how it works and its prospects moving forward.

Trahant is an independent journalist and a faculty member at the University of North Dakota as the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism. He also was recently elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Trahant is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribe and former president of the Native American Journalists Association.

“We are taking part in this project because Native American health issues are often misunderstood and mischaracterized. The library wants to raise awareness about this important issue,” said Library Archivist Chris Livingston.

In conjunction with the talk, a traveling exhibit, the Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness,” also will make its way to the Walter W. Stiern Library, after the Library was awarded a grant from the American Library Association and the National Library of Medicine.

The traveling exhibit explores the connection between wellness, illness, and cultural life through a combination of interviews with Native people, artwork, objects and interactive media. The exhibition will be open to the public from February 1 through March 9, 2018.

A health screening also will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 2, in the Walter Stiern Library’s Dezember Reading Room.

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