Speaker Bios - Leech Lake Tribal Health Infant Mortality Conference
March 17-18, 2010
John Morrin, whose given Ojibwe name is Giniwogichada Eagle Warrior) comes from the Miigizi Dodem (Eagle Clan) of the Anishinabeg Nation. He resides on the Gichionigaming Aki (Grand Portage Territory) of the Anishinabeg Nation. He presently serves as Vice-Chairman and Committeeman on the Grand Portage Reservation Business Committee/Tribal Council. John has worked in the Minneapolis and Duluth Public Schools as a cultural teacher, social worker and student advocate. He has also been active in community organizing for 20 years on issues regarding Native American treaty rights, land claims, tribal government reform and undoing racism. John began doing full-time community to continue anti-racist organizing work. He was elected to the Grand Portage Tribal Council in 1998 and re-elected in 2002 becoming the Vice-Chairman at that time. John also works with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond North with offices in Minneapolis, Duluth and Grand Portage. John attended the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, with formal educational background in Criminal Justice Studies and American Indian Studies. He has extensive knowledge of treaty law and the history of Native & European-American relations and contributes much of his knowledge he has learned to elders and the many wise people he has been fortunate to meet. John is an excellent teacher, speaker and community organizer.
Rosemary White Shield, Ph.D.
Rosemary White Shield (Anishinabe/Choctaw) is the curriculum developer, coordinator and researcher for the Native American Parenting Traditions Revisited (NAPTR) project and the lead consultant and program designer for the Nokomis Endaad Shki Bimaadzi Mikaana (Grandmother’s House-Road to New Life) Mental Illness/Chemical Dependency (MI/CD) Outpatient Treatment project at the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center in Minneapolis. She is a consultant for the Minnesota Institute of Public Health, working with tribal colleges and other institutions in the central region of the U.S. in program evaluation, through the Central Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies, funded by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).She is a former professor of Aboriginal Education at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada, and a former lecturer of American Indian studies at Iowa State University. She received her doctorate degree in 2003 from Iowa State University. Her recent research will be published in Wicazo Sa Review, the leading Native academic journal in the United States in spring, 2009. Dr. White Shield holds a B.A. from San Francisco State University, M.Ed. from Iowa State University, and Ph.D. from Iowa State University.
Teresa Davis LaFromboise, Ph.D.
Teresa LaFromboise is Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology and Chair of the Native American Studies at Stanford University. She is concerned with helping ethnic minority students survive acculturation pressure, cultural adjustment, discrimination, major life transitions and other stresses in children and adolescents. As a counseling psychologist with clinical and teaching experience in a variety of university and American Indian reservation settings, Professor LaFromboise has guided new professionals in school and community based counseling interventions. She is the developer of the American Indian Life Skills Development Curriculum of problem-based lessons aimed at increasing social emotional competence and reducing the risk of suicide among American Indian adolescents. Proven successful with high school students, this curriculum is being extended to younger students and evaluated in a multi-site effectiveness study. She is also investigating cultural, social, and psychological indicators of adolescent risk behavior. Recent publications include “Patterns of hopelessness among American Indian adolescents: Relationships by levels of acculturation and residence” and “Family, Community, and School Influence in Resilience among American Indian Adolescents in the Upper Midwest” among others. Professor LaFromboise attained her B.A. from Butler University, M.Ed from University of North Dakota, and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma.
Noya Woodrich, Ph.D. Candidate
Noya Woodrich, Alaskan Native (Athabascan) received her Bachelors Degree in Social Work in 1992 from Augsburg College. In 1994 she received her Masters Degree in Social Work from Augsburg College. Currently she is working on her Doctorate in Public Administration at Hamline University. She has been with the Division of Indian Work since January 1991 and has been Executive Director since January of 2001. Noya has taught as Community Faculty at Metropolitan State University in the Social Work Department and as Adjunct Faculty at Augsburg College in Social Work Development. Her involvement on committees, task forces, and boards are numerous. Her work deals mostly with issues of health disparities for American Indians and education for American Indians.
Stephanie Graves, BSN
Stephanie Graves, Ojibwe from the Red Lake Band, is the Maternal and Child Health Coordinator for the Minneapolis Department of Health & Family Support. She has worked for the Minneapolis Department of Health for seven years. During the first few years she was the Site Coordinator for the Twin Cities Health Start project and worked extensively on infant mortality prevention in the American Indian community. She assisted in implementing culturally specific educational classes and materials into the Twin Cities Healthy Start sites in the metro area. She currently works on a number of maternal and child health issues ranging from alcohol use during pregnancy to barriers to accessing prenatal care and issues affecting early childhood screening. Ms. Graves has participated in a number of community and health care committees: American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Hennepin County Breastfeeding Coalition, Connections Work Group (FASD project), and MDH- Preventing alcohol use during pregnancy, Tobacco use among American Indian women, and the National SIDS prevention project for American Indians. Ms. Graves holds a nursing degree from St. Mary’s College and a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Augsburg College.
Adrienne is from the St. Croix Band of Superior Chippewa, born in Redlake, MN, and grew up in Minneapolis, MN where she currently resides. She is the mother of three wonderful children and will be celebrating her eleventh wedding anniversary this year. A graduate of South High School and the American Indian OIC School of Business, Adrienne has worked for the Division of Indian Work for several years. While at DIW, she has worked in child care education and development; coordinated health and wellness programs; office administration and records management; social work case management; residential coordination and currently, Live It program coordinator. She believes strongly in the importance of maintaining a positive lifestyle in the community for the future of the children. She strives to serve the community by sharing her knowledge of health disparities and risks prevalent in the community. She holds a sacred relationship with the Creator and feels she is blessed with gifts and guidance from the Creator.
David L. Olds, Ph.D.
David Olds is Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Preventive Medicine, and Nursing
at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where he directs the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health. He has devoted his career to investigating methods of preventing health and developmental problems in children and parents from low-income families. The primary focus of his work has been on developing and testing in a series of randomized controlled trials a program of prenatal and infancy home visiting by nurses for socially disadvantaged mothers bearing their children, know today as the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP). Professor Olds and his team are conducting longitudinal follow-ups of each of the randomized trials of this program to examine its long term effects on maternal and child health and development. Since 1997, his team has been helping new communities develop the NFP outside of research settings, with a focus on faithfully implementing the model tested in the scientifically controlled studies. Today, the program is operating in over 370 counties nationally, serving over 18,000 families per year. As the program is disseminated throughout the United States, Professor Old’s team is now conducting research with local communities to improve the NFP model. In recent years, Olds has developed collaborations with international partners to support adapting and testing the program in international contexts. A member of the American Pediatrics Society, the Society f or Prevention Research, and the Academy of Experimental Criminology, Professor Olds has received numerous awards for his work, including the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievements in Health, the Lela Rowland Prevention Award from the National Mental Health Association, a Senior Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Brooke Visiting Professorship in Epidemiology from the Royal Society of Medicine, and the 2008 Stockholm Prize in Criminology. Professor Olds obtained his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. from Cornell.
Ray (Skip) Sandman, Traditional Healer
Skip is a Traditional Healer is from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Fond du Lac reservation, where he grew up. In 1971, he joined the Navy, serving two tours of duty in Viet Nam. Returning home, he became employed at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center where he worked for 25 years. In 1987, Skip had a dream. He woke up from his dream knowing things he did not know before. The dream prompted him to offer tobacco to a well-known elder and Traditional Healer in Minnesota, Jimmy Jackson. Jimmy told Skip that someday he would be a Doctor. Sometime after the passing of Jimmy Jackson, people began to approach Skip for doctoring. Through word of mouth, Skip became known as a Traditional Healer. As word traveled about the gift he carries for the People, elders traveled to Duluth to see Skip. The trip to Duluth was long for the elders to drive. Skip was approached by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe elders to become their Traditional Healer. Skip retired from the Northeast Regional Corrections Center and went to work for the three districts of Mille Lac’s, each having a clinic where Skip is available to the People. With his wife, Babette, Skip has formed two organizations: Great Lakes Origins, an organization that has a culturally-based team approach to providing information, education and healing, and Dibwe Consultants. Dibwe Consultants, founded by Skip and Babette in 2005, provides training and consulting services to Tribal programs nationally which are committed to implementing a traditional healing approach. Skip and his wife Babette are parents, grandparents and foster parents and have had many teens live with them since 1993. In the past few years they have had four whole family placements. Skip sees many people in his home, in Mille Lacs and travels to other communities.
Babette Sandman, Traditional Healer
Babette Sandman is an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe. She graduated from the American Indian Mental Health Training Project at the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1988. After graduating, Babette developed two community programs; a child abuse prevention program called “Good Things Happening” and a home-based mentoring program for young parents. Babette completed an internship with the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project and has been involved in a variety of roles since 1987. She worked for Mending the Sacred Hoop at the Center for Nonviolence for six years as an advocate and an organizer providing culturally based services for Native women. During those six years Babette was a trainer for facilitators of women’s education groups on the curriculum “In Our Best Interest.” Currently Babette continues to develop Great Lakes Origins and is renewing herself as an independent business owner. Babette and her husband Skip were instrumental in the planning of the Red Nation Gathering that addresses sexual exploitation/abuse by spiritual leaders. We began to form Great Lakes Origins, an unfunded organization that has a culturally based team approach to provide information, education, and healing. We are implementing ways to prevent further destruction by those individuals using our sacred ways to financially and sexually exploit/abuse women and children. Babette has two daughters and is a grandmother of three grandchildren, Isaiah, Shayla Babette, and Envais Ray. Babette is also a foster grandmother.
A noted Tlingit storyteller and actor, Gene’s passion for his topics shines through in his polished, powerful, yet playful manner of engaging participants. Believing that learning and laughter go hand-in-hand, he educates and entertains through a skillful blend of knowledge, humor, examples, stories, discussion, and activities. His very “real” and genuine approach often turns even the most reluctant attendees into eager participants. And he’s not afraid to get personal… By openly sharing his traditions, culture and past experiences with the training topics, Gene helps participants identify and laugh at their own faults while simultaneously sparking in them a desire to improve.