Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Interview with Jennie Joe, Co-author of Health and Social Issues of Native American Women

The idea and encouragement to undertake this book project emerged out of a series of discussion with the publisher. There was a general agreement that there was a need to capture some of the critical health concerns and social issues experienced by contemporary Native American women. In particular, concerns and issues that can be casted through the lens of Native Women scholars.

What "message" do you want to communicate?

One of the aims of the book was to provide a meaningful context for the issues discussed, including relevant history and the impact of colonization. The intent was also to illustrate interventions or solutions being undertaken to address these concerns. 

What was the highlight of your research? In the course of your research, what discovery surprised you the most? What surprises readers/others the most about your research?

We hope the readers see the emphasis placed by the contributors on personal and cultural resiliency and endurance as an integral part of survival for many Native American women. 

How did your research change your outlook on the topic?

We tried to avoid adding to existing negative stereotypes but to focus on issues of importance to Native American women and their ability to tap into their socio-cultural strengths to manage multiple problems encountered.

How have people reacted to your book and/or the ideas you set forth? Is it what you hoped for, or is there more work to be done?

The reaction has been positive so far. We hope our colleagues will continue to add to knowledge through their work and publications.

What's next for you?

Maybe a look at cross-cultural comparison with women from other cultures and/or a focus on intergenerational changes faced by Native American families as they adapt to a rapidly changing world.  

Jennie R. Joe, PhD, MPH, MA, is professor emeritus in family and community medicine at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. Her scholarly activities and work is in the area of cross-cultural health with an emphasis on health concerns of Native Americans. Some of her national and international work is with the Institute of Medicine and aboriginal health programs in Canada. 

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