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Canku Ota

Canku Ota logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 8, 2003 - Issue 80


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Opportunities - Page Two

Here you will find listings of:

  • Positions Available - including Fellowships and Internships;
  • Scholarship, Award and Grant Information; and
  • Event Announcements.

We receive these announcements from various sources including Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP)


To view additional listing from previous issues, click here Opportunities Button


Overview of the Native Investigator Development Program

The Division of American Indian and Alaska Native Programs within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences has recently been awarded a 5 year Resource Center for Minority Aging Research(RCMAR) which focuses on Native Elder health. Since American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) researchers have conducted few studies of the health of Native elders in the US, a primary objective of the RCMAR is the training of Native Investigators. Thus, the purpose of the RCMAR's Native Investigator Development Core is to improve the research capabilities and skills of AI/ANs from the social, behavioral and health sciences, thereby increasing the number of such individuals who are able to design, secure external support for, and conduct research in the following areas of inquiry at the interface of aging, health and cultural dynamics:

  1. Identifying and implementing culturally acceptable, relevant activities that will promote the health and well-being of Native elders. Examples include, but are not limited to obesity reduction, cardiovascular fitness, nutritional balance, mood enhancement, and increased mastery of health behaviors;
  2. Developing and testing culturally acceptable, relevant strategies to improve the application of well-accepted disease prevention measures. Examples include, but are not limited to mammography, vaccination, smoking cessation, comprehensive medication management, early detection of maltreatment, and screening for depression and alcohol abuse among older AI/AN adults; and
  3. Creating and piloting culturally acceptable, relevant instruments, and interventions that will promote more effective clinical practice, resulting in, for example, documentation of functional status, increased adherence to appropriate treatment recommendations, and greater provider compliance with practice guidelines.

Thus, promotion, prevention, and practice comprise the major areas of inquiry supported by the Native Investigator Development Core across a variety of focal points (e.g., individual patient, family, provider, delivery system, or community) and in a range of settings (e.g., hospital,out-patient clinic, home, or community).

Program Description

The career development format focuses on acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary for submission of an independent RO1 or K Award grant application by investigators of AI/AN heritage through formal didactic sessions, workshops, mini-courses, regular meetings, mentoring activities by Core Faculty, and consultations with Affiliated Faculty. Personnel, resources, and activities originate from both the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and the University of Washington, drawing on their respective strengths and affiliations. The specific aims of the Native Investigator Development Core are:

  1. To increase the number of AI/AN professionals capable of conducting research in areas of high priority among Native elders, in particular those that reduce the minority/non-minority differential in health status, access to needed care, and the consequences thereof;
  2. To establish and maintain learning and mentoring relationships between established researchers and previously unfunded by NIH;
  3. To improve the methodological skills of such investigators by participation in Pilot Studies intended to reduce health status and access differentials between Native elders and their non-Native counterparts in the general population; and
  4. To employ the Pilot Studies as the basis for preparing independent investigator-initiated awards led by AI/AN researchers.

This career development program provides intensive, long-term mentoring of promising, well-trained AI/AN health professionals modeled on the highly successful Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. The Native Investigator Development Core weaves together didactic, experiential, and mentored instruction as well as specialized seminars to equip Native Investigators to function as independent scientists working at the interface of aging, health, and culture, with special emphasis on Native elders. This blend of activities includes: a) an introductory mini-course entitled "Introduction to Native Aging and Health Status"; b) Pilot Studies; c) a series of meetings that vary in timing and intensity as required to design and conduct the Pilot Studies; d) continuous interaction with mentors drawn from the Core and Affiliated Faculty; and g) other seminars and workshops as relevant, available, or necessary to specific issues or Pilot Studies. Within this framework, Native Investigators are encouraged to pursue specific lines of inquiry that will yield research capable of securing external sponsorship. Of special note, by virtue of its inclusion of senior same-race mentors (4 of 6 Core Faculty are AI/AN) and others who have fashioned careers in cross-cultural medicine, the RCMAR is unusual in its ability to provide appropriate role models to aspiring Native Investigators.

Native Investigators will participate in RCMAR activities for 2 years. During the first year, these individuals complete the 3-day mini-course, participate in 4-6 Denver-based 2-day meetings involving RCMAR faculty, staff and investigators, and develop, conduct, as well as report a secondary data analysis project. They will also develop a Pilot Study that involves collecting new data during the second year. In the second year, data generated by the Pilot Study will be analyzed and manuscripts prepared.

Parallel efforts focus on using these data as the basis for the preparation of an NIH-type grant application to be submitted for peer review. Feedback and guidance during this time is provided at six 2-day RCMAR meetings in Denver involving both Core and relevant Affiliated Faculty. Grant applications undergo an NIH-style mock review prior to submission.

Eligibility Criteria for Native Investigators
Candidates from fields such as medicine, nursing, anthropology, psychology, public health, sociology, and other social and behavioral sciences are encouraged to apply but must meet the following requirements: have Native status, with documentation as needed and/or appropriate of tribal affiliation, be the recipient of an advanced degree such as an MD, Ph.D., DSW, EdD or the equivalent, in one of the social, behavioral, or health sciences, and demonstrate the relevance and need for training of this nature to future plans and career development.

Inquiries are encouraged and may be directed to Dedra Buchwald, MD, Associate Director, NERC/RCMAR, UCHSC: MailStop F800, P.O. Box 6508, Aurora, CO 80045-0508 for submissions via the U.S. Postal Service; 13055 E. 17th Avenue, Room 328a, Aurora, CO 80010 for Federal Express or overnight service; by telephone to Teresa Lapp at 303-724-1477; or by email to

Instructions for applying to the program maybe obtained online at under the "Application Process". Application deadline is March 30, 2003.

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Beginning this year, the New York University Stern School of Business will offer a Pre-Doctoral Program for underrepresented minority students (African American, Native American and Hispanic American). This program is intended for underrepresented minority students who are seeking to enroll in a Ph.D. program in Business, at Stern or elsewhere.

The fundamental idea behind the program is to provide talented, interested students with a solid foundation in the quantitative business skills necessary for success in doctoral studies with a heavy research orientation. We have posted the program details on our website at:

The highlights of our program are as follows:

  • Four semester non-degree program
  • Full $22,000 stipend and free tuition
  • Individually designed program and coursework
  • Deadline is January 15, 2003

We would appreciate your sharing this information with any strong candidates. Thank you for your support.

For further information, please contact:
Julie Cho
Associate Director
Doctoral Program
OR Stephanie Nickerson, 212 998-0184,

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Summer Research Enhancement Program (SREP)

Diné College and the Southwest Diabetes Prevention Center are once again sponsoring the Summer Research Enhancement Program (SREP). We are currently seeking qualified and dedicated Native American students from Tribal Colleges and Universities to participate in this exciting diabetes research and prevention program. The deadline for submitting an application is Friday, March 28, 2003. For more information and to download application forms, please visit our website at:

This year, the duration of the 10-week program will be from June 2, 2003 to August 8, 2003. This is further broken down into three stages. They are:

Stage I: A 3-week training session at Diné College, Tsaile Arizona campus. During this stage, research students will learn research skills and techniques. The training session will introduce students to concepts of public health, epidemiology, research methods, research ethics, confidentiality, diabetes overview, nutrition, medical records review, data gathering and management, basic statistical analysis, and a variety of statistical software packages. Public health issues and perceptions in diabetes prevention from various tribes will be explored. Prospective students should be aware that the Tsaile campus is located in the heart of the Navajo Nation far from urban facilities.

Stage II: For 6-weeks, students are placed at various community-based diabetes prevention research facilities. Student placement depends on the student's hometown or community. The SREP staff will arrange for practicum
research sites that are as close to the student researcher's place of residence as possible. They will be placed at facilities where diabetes prevention research is aimed towards Native American communities.

Stage III: During the final week of the program, the students will return to the Tsaile campus, where they will finalize their research results and present them to their fellow researchers. The program will cover all travel expenses to and from the college.

Thank you for your time and we look forward to having students from your area participate in the Summer Research Enhancement Program. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Mark Bauer, Robert Alsburg or Roxanne Peterman.

Dr. Mark C. Bauer, Principal Investigator

Robert Alsburg, SREP Coordinator

Roxanne Peterman, SREP Coordinator

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Diversity at Gustavus Adolphus College - A report

The campus can be rather quiet during J-term at Gustavus Adolphus College, but surely not unproductive. This January for J-term I am doing an internship through the Diversity Center. My main responsibility is organizing the 2nd Annual Gustavus Adolphus College Traditional Native American Pow Wow.

The Pow Wow will take place on the Thursday evening of February 27, 2003, from 7-10 pm at the St. Peter Fairgrounds, in Johnson Hall. The event is free, and is an opportunity to connect the Gustavus community with the surrounding communities, as well as with the Native American communities for educational and cultural purposes. I am honored to be a part of such an event.

Another aspect of my J-term internship is starting an Indigenous Student Association at Gustavus, and working on a Native American student recruitment initiative with the Admissions Office. In conversations with a couple Native American elders, I was advised to start looking for prospective students attending community or technical colleges. I transferred to Gustavus from Nicolet Area Technical College in Rhinelander, WI after spending two years in the University Transfer Program. My reasons for choosing Gustavus over other colleges to earn my Bachelor of Arts was the college’s prestige, its location, its small size, its long history, its open friendliness, and its home-away-from-home feel, but what interest would a Native American student have in coming to this school? That is the question I have to ask myself when I meet with Native American elders who have worked with the youth, and the Admission Office employees at Gustavus.

Building a support system for Native American students is the first step in making Gustavus more attractive to them. Not only are we in the Diversity Center working to establish an Indigenous Student Association so students with such heritage have a place to go to be together and support one another, but we have contracted an elder from the Dakota community to be a resource, advisor, guiding hand, and comfort. This person will not only be of service to the Native American students on campus, and those to come, but to Gustavus faculty.

Diversity is a changing and expanding term here at Gustavus. Through the Diversity Center runs a Womyn’s Awareness group, Queers and Allies, Asian Cultures Club, Pan-Afrikan Student Association, International Cultures Club, and soon, the Indigenous Student Association. Our country and our society, is made up of many different faces, and Gustavus is working to reflect that image. Please consider Gustavus Adolphus College as you or your children make that choice to continue your education.

For more information call 1-800-GUSTAVUS, or visit the website at

Morgan Barkus ‘03
Student Intern
Diversity Center

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Attention! Aboriginal Playwrights and Choreographers!
Call For Submissions for Native Earth Performing Arts Inc.
Weesageechak Begins To Dance - XVI
The 16th Annual Festival of New Works
October 2003

Weesageechak is the Trickster, the Coyote, the Raven, but no matter what name this powerful being goes by, Weesageechak’s main attribute is transformation, and transformation is what this festival is all about. Every year, Weesageechak workshops unproduced and uncommissioned theatre scripts and dance pieces in order to develop new works for Aboriginal theatre and dance. The selected pieces (and their creators) are matched with experienced dramaturges and cast members, each piece is polished via readings, discussions and rewriting, and then presented to the public as a staged reading. Playwrights and choreographers selected to participate will be paid an honorarium and those from out-of-town will have their travel and lodgings paid for by the company.

All scripts and support material will be read and/or reviewed by the Artistic Director who is interested in new and original works by Native North American Playwrights and Choreographers.

Please mail, email or deliver one copy of your script and/or support material to:

(Scripts arriving via fax WILL NOT be accepted)

Yvette Nolan
Artistic Director
Native Earth Performing Arts Inc.
720 Bathurst St, Suite 503
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4 Canada

DEADLINE: MAY 15, 2003

Submissions should include the playwright/creator’s name, address and telephone/e-mail contact information. Please send a single-sided, unbound and double-spaced copy of your script or support material. Please number all pages. Kindly ensure that you retain your original material. While we welcome scripts throughout the year, those received by May 15, 2003 will be assured consideration for the upcoming Festival.

Please call or e-mail us for more info:
(416) 531 - 1402

Dori Skye
Theatre Administrator
Native Earth Performing Arts Inc
720 Bathurst Street Suite 503
Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

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NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program

Deadline: February 28, 2003

The NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral and social science health-related research. The program is designed to improve access to education leading to research careers for those who have had fewer opportunities than others. The program is primarily designed to provide an incentive for exceptional scholars to pursue research careers at the NIH.

El Programa de Becas Para Subgraduados de los NIH ofrece becas competitivas a estudiantes que provienen de trasfondos en desventaja y que están comprometidos a seguir carreras de investigación biomédica y en las ciencias sociales y de comportamiento relacionadas con la salud. El programa está diseñado para mejorar el acceso a la educación que lleve a carreras de investigación para aquellos que han tenido menos oportunidades que otros. El programa está diseñado primordialmente para proveer un incentivo para que becarios excepcionales persigan carreras de investigación en los NIH.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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