SULPHUR — Chickasaw Nation and federal government officials took part in a special ceremony to publicly open a nationally acclaimed exhibit on Native health on August 26.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby was joined by National Library of Medicine Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg to unveil Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness.
The exhibit will open to the public at the ARTesian Gallery and Studios, located at 100 W. Muskogee Street in Sulphur.
Gov. Anoatubby and Dr. Lindberg conducted the opening celebration in the Artesian Hotel banquet room. The Chickasaw Nation is hosting the exhibit through October 24. It marks the first time the traveling exhibition has been displayed in the lower 48 states.
Produced by the National Library of Medicine, the exhibit explores the connection between wellness, illness and cultural life through interviews with Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians through their respective artwork and objects. Interactive media assist the general public in understanding the connection.
"Within the Chickasaw Nation, health is highly valued, said Gov. Anoatubby. “We have developed a culture of caring for one another through tough times and through times of plenty.
“We are honored that we have this exhibit available. This exhibit is very, very interesting. In addition to that, people will be educated about how Native Americans view health in their communities."
Natives residing in tribal villages, on reservations and in cities discuss land, food, community, earth/nature and spirituality related to Native health. The relationship between traditional healing and Western medicine also is examined. Additionally, economic and cultural issues affecting Natives and efforts to improve health conditions are explored.
“This exhibition honors the Native tradition of oral history and establishes a unique collection of information,” Dr. Lindberg observed. “We hope visitors will find Native Voices both educational and inspirational. We hope Native people will view it with pride,” he added.
The ARTesian Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 institutes and centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research. It is investigating causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For information about NIH and its programs, visitwww.nih.gov.