Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness

March 31 – August 9, 2015

Native Voices Logo

Spirit of Eagles

Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness, examines concepts of health and medicine among contemporary American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people is on display in the Health Sciences and Human Services Library. 

The traveling exhibition, produced by the National Library of Medicine, explores the connection between wellness, illness, and cultural life through a combination of interviews with Native people, artwork, objects, and interactive media.  The exhibition is open to the public in March 31, 2015 – August 9, 2015.

The National Library of Medicine has a history of working with Native communities as part of the Library’s commitment to make health information resources accessible to people no matter where they live or work. The Native Voices exhibition concept grew out of meetings with Native leaders in Alaska, Hawai`i and the Lower 48.

"This exhibition honors the Native tradition of oral history and establishes a unique collection of information," says Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, director of the National Library of Medicine. "We hope visitors will find Native Voices both educational and inspirational, and we hope Native people will view it with pride."

Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness examines concepts of health and medicine among contemporary American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. The traveling exhibition features interviews and works from Native people living on reservations, in tribal villages, and in cities. Topics include: Native views of land, food, community, earth/nature, and spirituality as they relate to Native health; the relationship between traditional healing and Western medicine in Native communities; economic and cultural issues that affect the health of Native communities; efforts by Native communities to improve health conditions; and the role of Native Americans in military service and healing support for returning Native veterans.

To make the Native Voices information accessible to people even if they can’t come to Health Sciences and Human Services Library, there is an online version of the exhibition at

For more information please contact Aphrodite Bodycomb (410) 706-8853

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Dr. John Reed, UM Center for Integrative Medicine
"Post Traumatic Combat Stress, Moral Injury, and Post Traumatic Growth:
Native American Models for Honoring Returning Warriors"
11:30-1:00, Gladhill Board Room, 5th Floor, HS/HSL  A light lunch will be served.  Free event.  Please RSVP:
From Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, our society is faced with the challenges of reintegrating our wounded warriors who carry psychological stresses from their combat exposures to violence, death, and dying. In this presentation, Dr. Reed will review our current understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress and give examples of past and current ways that Native American returning warriors have been reintegrated into their tribal communities.

Monday, May 4, 2015
Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, former director, National Library of Medicine, NIH
"A View of the Native Voices Exhibit: From the Beginning."
Dr. Lindberg was the motivating force for the Native Voices exhibit.  His vision and passion led him to travel to tribal communities throughout the United States to hear and experience native healing.  Come hear Dr. Lindberg talk about the concept for the exhibit, the process for gathering information and engaging with native healers, and the dedication of the healing totem pole, carved in the Pacific Northwest that traveled across the U.S to reside at NLM.
A light lunch will be served.  Free event.  Please RSVP:

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Upcoming Exhibits
  • August 31 - October 10, 2015
    "Pictures of Nursing: The Zwerdling Postcard Collection"
  • November 2015 - March 2016
    "Joseph Sheppard"
  • April 4 - May 14, 2016
    "And There's the Humor Of It:" Shakespeare and the Four Humors
  • May 16 - June 17, 2016
    "Student Art Exhibit – Tentative"
  • March 13 - April 22, 2017
    "From DNA to Beer"
  • May 1 – May 26, 2017
    "Student Art Exhibit – Tentative"
  • Dec 10, 2018 – Jan 19, 2019
    "Pick Your Poison"
Exhibit Archive
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