Photo courtesy of nim.nih.gov

By Ellie Gavin || Managing Editor

This week, a new exhibit in Martin Library of the Sciences called “Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness” premiered. The exhibit premiered November 10th and runs through December 20th on the first floor of the library.

The interactive exhibit was developed and produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). NLM and the American Library Association tour the exhibition to libraries across America. The exhibit is currently installed in 104 libraries across America, including here at F&M.

Visitors to the exhibition can listen, via iPad, to interviews with tribal leaders, healers, physicians, and educators as well as view colorful, descriptive banners. The exhibit aims to examine concepts of health and medicine among contemporary Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawai’ians.

According to the website of the National Library of Medicine, “In this exhibition you will hear the voices of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians as they tell their stories and express their ideas about health and illness. Their beliefs and practices vary—Native peoples are far from a single, homogeneous group—but they also share certain values and historical experiences. You will hear Native Voices speak of the responsibilities of individuals and the interconnectedness of communities, of reverence for Nature, tradition, and the Great Spirit. You will also hear about the challenges and opportunities of balancing traditional healing practices with Western medicine. Native American concepts of health and wellness have sustained diverse peoples since ancient times. Explore this exhibition and learn how revival and pride in Native ideas among a new generation can help sustain them in the 21st century.”

Junior Ellie Gavin is the Managing Editor. Her email is fgavin@fandm.edu.