Backyard Aquaponics: Promoting Healthy Eating among Native Hawaiian Families

Addressing food insecurity and preventing chronic illness among Native Hawaiians requires creative and culturally-centered interventions.  A project that colleagues and I are working on in Waimanalo, “Backyard Aquaponics: Promoting Healthy Eating among Native Hawaiian Families,” will focus on testing a 3-month culturally grounded family-based backyard aquaponics intervention with Native Hawaiian families.  The project was recently funded by the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities through the John A. Burns School of Medicine, in which I serve as a mentor for Dr. Jane Chung-Do and ‘Ilima Ho-Lastimosa.  If you would like to learn more about the project, click on the link below or watch the video!

Ola Hawaii

Reflections on MLK

A wonderful MLK Day post from one of my students!

A Purposeful Journey

When I first moved to Michigan, as I was finding my place in Ann Arbor and Detroit, a friend recommended the book Why We Can’t Wait by MLK. My friend, her husband, their four kids and dog all moved to a home in a neighborhood off of Livernois to live out their mission and dream of working in inner-cities. They’ve been living in this house for a few years now and are learning daily what it means to give themselves fully and unconditionally to loving their neighbor- regardless of socioeconomic, cultural, spiritual, and racial differences. The voice of MLK has provided the historical perspective for them to understand what has been fought for, and perhaps what work has yet to be done.

I was thinking a lot about the book as I participated in a couple of events on MLK Day. The legacy of MLK was infused with spiritual fervor…

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Indigenous Events at the SSWR Conference

American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Global Indigenous (AIANNH Indigenous) Cluster

For its 2018 annual conference, the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) established the American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Global Indigenous Populations Cluster to be facilitated by Dr. Tessa Evans-Campbell, Dr. Mike Spencer, and Dr. Karina Walters. As SSWR Vice President and conference coordinator for SSWR this year, Dr. Walters has been working to incorporate themes consistent with our cluster, including an indigenous opening to honor our Opening Plenary speaker, Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith of the University of Waikato and author of the acclaimed book, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. The three invited symposia for this year’s conference titled, The Grandest of Challenges: Unearthing the Deep Roots of Social Problems, also features AIANNH indigenous themes and speakers.

We would like to also thank all of you who submitted abstracts to our cluster and invite you to participate in the planning of the indigenous opening, SIG meeting, or other leadership opportunities within the cluster. We hope that these activities will offer an opportunity to meet and exchange with other indigenous researchers and those who work on behalf of indigenous communities. Please contact any of us if you would like to be involved. We also invite you to share this information with anyone who may be interested.


Indigenous Opening and Opening Plenary Session

Thursday, January 11, 2018: 5:00 PM-6:40 PM

Independence BR Salons D/E (ML 4) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)



Linda Tuhiwai Smith, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand/Aotearoa



AIANNH (Indigenous) Special Interest Group (SIG)

Saturday, January 13, 2018: 12:30 PM-1:30 PM

Chinatown (ML 3) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC).



Indigenous Cluster Oral Presentations

Thursday, January 11, 2018: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM

Treasury (ML 4) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)


The Added Value of Traditional Native Hawaiian Healers in Primary Care
Michael Spencer, PhD, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Mary Oneha, PhD, Waimanalo Health Center; Leina’ala Bright, MA, Waimanalo Health Center

A Trail of Transformation: The Meaning of Place in Health for Indigenous Women
Angela Fernandez, MSW, LCSW, University of Washington

Environmental Changes, Indigenous Experiences, and Health Outcomes
Assistant Professor Billiot, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Understanding and Decolonizing Maternal Health in Ethiopia through Indigenous Methodologies
Aissetu Ibrahima, PhD, Miami University of Ohio

Culture Matters: The Protective Roles of Traditional Practices in the Relationship between Historical Trauma and Alcohol Use
Ciwang Teyra, MSW, University of Washington



Indigenous Cluster Roundtable  

Friday, January 12, 2018: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

Independence BR B (ML 4) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)


Toward a Research and Practice Model for Empowering Child Welfare-Involved Native Families: Moving Beyond Icwa (Independence BR B (ML 4)) 

Speakers/Presenters: Claudette Grinnell-Davis, PhD , Melanie Sage, PhD , Bryn King, PhD and Dallas Pettigrew, MSW 



Poster Presentations All sessions held at the Marquis BR Salon 6 (ML 2) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)


Thursday, January 11, 2018: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM

Culturally-Informed Interventions for Substance Abuse Among Indigenous Youth: A Systematic Review
Jessica Liddell, MSW/MPH, Tulane University; Catherine Burnette, PhD, Tulane University


Thursday, January 11, 2018: 3:15 PM-4:45 PM

Factors Associated with American Indian Mental Health Service Use in Comparison with White Older Adults
Heehyul Moon, PHD, University of Louisville; Soonhee Roh, PhD, University of South Dakota; Yeon-Shim Lee, PhD, San Francisco State University


Friday, January 12, 2018: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

Indigenous Clients’ Perspectives on Delegated Child Protective Services
Amanda Neufeld, MSW, University of British Columbia – Okanagan; Crystal Mundy, MA, University of British Columbia – Okanagan; Susan J. Wells, PhD, University of British Columbia – Okanagan


Friday, January 12, 2018: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM

Resilience within Indigenous Transition Age Foster Youth
Sumer Al-Ahdali, University of Kansas; Nancy Jo Kepple, PhD, University of Kansas

American Indian child welfare, indigenous family and child wellbeing


Post-Separation Coparenting and Its Effect on Stepfamily Quality Among American Indian Stepfamilies
Jordan Bybee, MSW, Brigham Young University; Nathan Porter, MSW, Brigham Young University


Friday, January 12, 2018: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM

Trauma Experiences of Urban American Indian Parents/Caregivers Involved with Child Welfare Systems
Nancy M. Lucero, PhD, University of Denver; Shauna Rienks, PhD, University of Denver


Friday, January 12, 2018: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM

An Age-Friendly Community with Intergenerational Dynamics
KyongWeon Lee, MSW, Ohio State University


Friday, January 12, 2018: 5:15 PM-6:45 PM

Historical Trauma, Discrimination, and Alcohol Use Among Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan
Ciwang Teyra, MSW, University of Washington


Saturday, January 13, 2018: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

A Suicide Prevention Approach in an Urban American Indian Community: Gatekeeper Trainings for Community Members and Providers of Service
Sandra Momper, PhD, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Rachel Burrage, MSW, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor


Saturday, January 13, 2018: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM

Culturally Relevant Risk and Protective Factors Related to Depression Among U.S. Indigenous Peoples: Why Historical Oppression and Family Resilience Matter
Catherine Burnette, PhD, Tulane University #8906; Lynette M. Renner, PhD, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Charles Figley, PhD, Tulane University


Sunday, January 14, 2018: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

The Impact of ‘compassionate Disruption’ Policies on Indigenous Populations: The Criminalization of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Houseless in Hawaii
Sarah Soakai, MURP (Masters in Urban and Regional Planning), University of California at Los Angeles – Luskin School of Public Affairs; Susan Nakaoka, PhD, University of Hawaii at Manoa


Invited Symposia: The Grandest Challenge: Unearthing the Deep Roots of Social Problems

Session 1: Session 1: Excavating Constructs for Grand Challenges: Unearthing White Supremacy, Neoliberal Racism, and Neocolonialism  

Friday, January 12, 2018: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM

Capitol (ML4) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)

Speakers: Sean Joe, Laina Bay-Cheng, & Debora Ortega

Chair: Edwina Uehara


Session 2: Building Authentic Alliances: Addressing the Denial and Significance of Race, Whiteness, Gender, and Indigeneity in Research Partnerships

Saturday, January 13, 2018: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

Capitol (ML4) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)

Speakers: Bonnie Duran, Roberto Orellana, Darrell Wheeler, & Tessa Evans-Campbell

Chair: Susan Kemp


Session 3: Decolonizing Research: Generating Community-Grounded Inquiry

Saturday, January 13, 2018: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM

Capitol (ML4) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)

Speakers: Waldo Johnson, Michael Lindsey, Michael Spencer, & Laura Wernick

Chair: Karina Walters



Relevant Special Interest Group


Close the health gap (Grand Challenge) (Marquis BR Salon 12 (ML 2)) 
Michael Spencer, PhD and Karina Walters, PhD