Harvard professor to give two talks on history, current state of Native American health

DennisNormanDennis K. Norman, faculty chair of the Harvard University Native American Program, will be in Cleveland Monday, Oct. 14, to give two talks on Native American health and the culture’s history of health disparities.

His first appearance will be a free, public lecture from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Mather Memorial 201, co-sponsored by Sigma Xi & Science Café Cleveland, the Schubert Center and the Departments of Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology.

The second will be a Science Café Cleveland event, sponsored by the Case Western Reserve University chapter of Sigma Xi, WCPN ideastream and the Market Garden Brewery, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Market Garden Brewery.

The focus of the talks will be on the history of Native Americans’ health disparities, from pre-colonization to the evolving relationship with the national government. While the early history with colonial settlements was characterized by a massive loss of life due to infectious disease and wars, subsequent health disparities have positioned Native Americans at the top of the US population in terms of overall mortality and poor health outcomes.

A review of current American Indian status in terms of population, location, identity identification will provide the backdrop for examining the current Indian Health Service, the rise of tribal health services and the various challenges concerning diabetes, obesity, chronic illnesses, suicide and substance abuse. Pipeline issues that make it difficult for Native American youth to attain education and professional training to address these issues without.

For more information, visit case.edu/affil/sigmaxi/2013October14Event.html.