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2023 Men's Health Conference: A Focus on Fatherhood

In celebration of the important role of fatherhood, Indigenous Health and Wellness Connections (IHAWC), assisted the Painted Horse Diabetes Prevention Program (PHDPP) to host the annual Men’s Health Conference. The purpose of this event is to merge contemporary perspectives on health and wellness with traditional teaching as well as celebrate the strengths and resilience of men as protectors, providers, and mentors within their families and communities. The conference delved into the multifaceted nature of fatherhood in indigenous cultures and explored how health, family and traditions have a ripple effect through generations.

The conference started with a community staple, breakfast burritos from the local burrito lady. After breakfast, an opening innovation was offered by Lorenzo Root, a community elder. Followed was an opening song offered by the drum group Red Spirit. After which the breakout sessions began.

Health Screenings: An overview of screenings that will help you to be proactive about your health and combat preventable diseases as well as illnesses, presented by Roe McDonald.

Roe has been a Nurse for 26 years, a Registered Nurse for 24 years, and has worked as an Registered Nurse at IHS for over 5 years. He oversees the Infection Control Program, and is a Case Manager at the U&O IHS Clinic. He is the father to 2 daughters and 3 boys. Roe grew up in the Uintah Basin and has worked at both Uintah Basin Hospital and Ashley Regional Hospital. When he is not at work, he is working on the family farms, camping with his family or helping his boys show goats and sheep at the local and state stock shows.

Fatherhood: A comedy set, by Wolf Brown, exploring how the role of fatherhood holds high importance within our future as tribal communities. By combining laughter with the importance of fatherhood, Wolf is able to drive home the message of healing one’s self to be a more effective father.

Wolf Brown is a Native American stand-up comedian from the village of Bapchule located on the Gila River Indian Community. His style of comedy includes one-liners, story telling, and roasts. Being versatile in both comedy club and reservation humor. He has become a rising star in the Arizona comedy scene as well as becoming a casino favorite. His jokes are relatable to everyone, telling the struggles of a rez native in a modern world. He recently went viral on tiktok. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok @gilariouswolf.

Prayer Ties: Utilizing ancestral wisdom to address trauma transfer by Anthony Guzman.

Anthony is an enrolled Uintah Band member of the Northern Ute Tribe and grew up on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in Northeastern Utah. He attended boarding school at Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma, Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas and earned his Master of Social Work degree in 2006 at the University of Utah. He has worked with American Indian populations for his entire clinical and administrative career. Currently, Anthony is the Chief Cultural Officer at the Native American Health Center where he is responsible for establishing a culturally dynamic healing framework, advancing responsive holistic approaches to community wellness, and mindfully harmonizing ceremonial practice into patient care. Anthony enjoys creating art, fatherhood, and skateboarding.

Traditional Roles: Exploration and practice of traditional roles and how participants can incorporate traditional teaching into their daily life by Erick Bringswhite.

Erik Bringswhite is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the I. Am. Legacy Center, an innovative space that offers mental health, substance abuse, and social support programming to community members in Pennington County, South Dakota. Erik is a long-time foster parent and juvenile justice worker and a role model to many on the Pine Ridge Reservation and in the state of South Dakota, working to develop the next generation of Native people to be healthy and happy. He believes that courageous, confident Native leaders are vital for finding culturally appropriate, lasting solutions for the people and as such has been a fellow for the Bush Foundation and a local community partner and “Champion of Change” for the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge. Erik willingly strives to serve as a bridge, both in a healing approach and shifting of power to the community where it is required. He believes in reparative/restorative justice with liberation as the ultimate horizon, innerstanting (way deeper through a spiritual lens) that we are at the epicenter of pain and we must affirm, support, love on another for OUR survival and unfoldment. Erik is an arduous propeller of indigenous conciencia; he exudes community and culture as medicine. He embraces a fierce but kind and loving philosophy where liberation, building community relations with a unique perspective on how to tap and address power so that it can be redistributed in an equitable manner. He is big on healing practices where folks learn to understand the effects of compounded trauma.

Fulfilling Cultural Roles in a Modern World, A Path to Healing & Empowerment: The effects of trauma and how men have been taught to cope with life’s struggles can often make life challenging for Native American men. However, a path toward healing and success is often found within our culture. This workshop will explore basic cultural roles and how to fulfill those roles in today’s world. Discovering and fulfilling our purpose as Native American men, can create empowerment and healing for ourselves and those around us, presented by Jason Butler.

Jason Arion Butler is an enrolled member of the Ute Tribe of Fort Duchesne, Utah and is also part Mojave and Cherokee. He resides in Gibson, Idaho with his wife of 22 years, children, and grandchild who are all enrolled members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. He graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and earned his Master of Science in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University. He has spent the past 5+ years employed by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Tribal Health and Human Services Department, where he spent time serving as the Recovery Service Coordinator for the Four Directions Treatment Center, the manager for the Community Health Representative program, and recently accepted the position of Behavioral Health Manager. He strives to incorporate Native culture, traditions, morals, and values into the healthcare services provided to Native communities, implementing these practices into his work with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and advocating for the reconstruction of healthcare practices nationally. Today he says, “I am loving life and am extremely thankful to have found a career path I love”.

Warrior Empowerment: Clarity is power. The Strong Warriors ‘Warrior Empowerment Workshop’ will give you clarity based on your own personality preferences, behavior patterns, and your own instinctive preferences and tendencies. Gain clarity on the role you play within your own tribe and life circle. When you are empowered, you will be able to empower others, presented by Toqua Ticeahkie.

Toqua-Hanai Ticeahkie is a full blooded Native American and an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation Tribe of Oklahoma. He is also part Kiowa, Creek, Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes as well. He currently lives and works in the Four Corner’s Area as a certified personal trainer and fitness specialist in a hospital training high risk patients for Indian Health Services. He has had the privilege of working in the fitness industry for numerous tribes and tribal communities all across the country. He has achieved great success as a fitness coordinator, director, and as a personal trainer. As an athlete, and a former professional arena football player, he was the strongest high school football player in Los Angeles County and the Greater Southern California area. He played junior college football at Fullerton College and was able to get an athletic scholarship and later played semi pro and professional arena football. He is proud to say that he is the founder of the Strong Warriors and travels throughout Indian Country providing the best fitness events and empowerment workshops around.He holds an official world record recognized through the World Record Academy for ‘Most Accumulative Weight Bench Pressed in 60 seconds’, and bench presses 225 lbs. for 58 reps in 60 seconds for a total of 13,050 lbs. lifted.

After the event, participants gathered to participate in a traditional sweat led by Ute Tribe Councilman, Christopher Tabbee. To support events like these, donations can be made through our donation link at the bottom of this page.

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