your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Indian health care leaders win prestigious award
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Filed Under: Health | National

Monte Fox, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota, was one of two Indian health care leaders honored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation honored not one but two Indian health care leaders at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

Wehnona St. Cyr, a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, and Monte Fox, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota, received the foundation's prestigious Community Health Leaders award. The pair were among just 10 winners of the $125,000 prize.

"We are honored to recognize such committed, courageous, and creative people," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the president and CEO of the foundation.

St. Cyr said she was "humbled" by the award. She was selected for her efforts to improve health and wellness on the Omaha Reservation, where she runs the Carl T. Curtis Health Education Center.

"I think they were a little surprised by the amount of services we offer on the reservation," St. Cyr said of foundation officials who visited the tribe to learn more about the health care system.

"We call it a health center but it's so much more than that," she said of the Carl T. Curtis.

The center provides a broad array of services, from traditional medical care to a nursing home to an animal control program. The tribe and the Indian Health Service provide funding for the center.

"Wehnona's work is an example of the many efforts underway in communities throughout the nation to take action to address their own problems by creating new approaches and solutions, and demanding changes in outdated systems and institutions," said Janice Ford Griffin, the director of the foundation's Community Health Leaders program

Fox, who works for the White Earth Band of Ojibwe Indians in Minnesota, also said he was humbled by the award. He was chosen for his innovative efforts to combat diabetes and to promote health and wellness.

"It's an honor to be in the room with some of these people," he said before the start of the ceremony.

Through his work for the White Earth Band, Fox has created health initiatives that respect tribal traditions. Games like Diabetes Bingo and Honor the Beat combine cultural messages with health education to combat a disease that affects Native Americans at a high rate.

Fox is currently developing an even bigger project called Native Dancer, a game based loosely on the popular Dance Dance Revolution video game. The game, which is being developed in conjunction with North Dakota State University (, will teach Indian youth about healthy lifestyles through pow-wow and traditional dance moves.

"It teaches history and culture," Fox said of the project, which he hopes to eventually turn into a competitive Internet gamer.

St. Cyr and Fox haven't decided what to do with the $125,000 award, of which $105,000 must be used to further their health care programs. The remaining $20,000 can be used for personal development.

But both have a lot of ideas. St. Cyr cites a need for more dialysis machines and an electric generator for the nursing home while Fox wants to buy exercise and playground equipment for schools that serve tribal children.

St. Cyr and Fox also emphasize their ongoing efforts to incorporate culture, language and history into their health programs. They say that's the only way to ensure their tribal communities will survive.

"I don't think we're truly sovereign until we can take care of our own without outside help," said St. Cyr, who likened her current role as a health care provider to the historical role that women in the Omaha Tribe's Buffalo Clan played. "That was our job -- to make sure everyone was served and taken care of," she said.

Fox, who grew up on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota, holds a similar view. "I've always thought the glue to who we are is our culture," he said. "If we lose that, you lose a lot of wellness thought. We can't just let that go."

Since 1992, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has distributed 150 Community Health Leaders awards. This year's winners came from eight states and Puerto Rico.

Relevant Links:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation -
Community Health Leaders -

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News Today: Sheriff makes biggest #NoDAPL roundup (10/27)
Democracy Now: Dakota Access security guards weren't licensed (10/27)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth center stresses safety (10/27)
James Giago Davies: Corruption keeps the privileged in power (10/27)
Dana Lone Hill: Indian people won't stop fighting for our rights (10/27)
Dave Archambault Sr.: Dehumanizing the #NoDAPL movement (10/27)
Steven Newcomb: Reconciliation means covering up the truth (10/27)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sees decline in business at casino (10/27)
Republican Donald Trump invested in Dakota Access Pipeline (10/27)
The Sioux Chef on track to open indigenous restaurant in 2017 (10/27)
Yakama Nation secures $30M loan to expand utility company (10/27)
Jury restarts deliberations in armed standoff on tribal territory (10/27)
Scotts Valley Band envisions casino as part of new homeland (10/27)
Seneca Nation on track to complete $40M expansion at casino (10/27)
Cowlitz Tribe spends $32M for highway project at new casino (10/27)
Native youth pressure Hillary Clinton to take a #NoDAPL stand (10/26)
Native candidate in South Dakota gets a big boost from Obama (10/26)
Landowners from Bad River Band see $6.6M in buy-back offers (10/26)
Navajo Nation lawmaker warns further action needed on hemp (10/26)
Former Obama administration official joins Native owned firm (10/26)
Justice Department opens criminal databases to more tribes (10/26)
Mark Trahant: Native candidates for Congress in final stretch (10/26)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe reacts to shootings (10/26)
Native Sun News Today: Pine Ridge football team impresses (10/26)
Brandon Ecoffey: Strong fixes needed for reservation crime (10/26)
Raúl Grijalva: Republicans still won't listen to Indian Country (10/26)
Steve Russell: The magic of Donald Trump's 'plan' for America (10/26)
Harlan McKosato: Film pays tribute to 'warrior' Elouise Cobell (10/26)
Haskell University expelled student who was victim of assault (10/26)
Jury deliberates verdicts in armed standoff on tribal territory (10/26)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe gets court date in gaming lawsuit (10/26)
Tule River Tribe gains support for moving casino to a new site (10/26)
First Nations casino in Saskatchewan pays out $1.5M jackpot (10/26)
Dakota Access ramps up spending on lobbying and politicians (10/25)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe presses Obama on Dakota Access (10/25)
Indian National Finals Rodeo gears up for big crowds in Vegas (10/25)
Mark Trahant: Native candidates benefit from Clinton landslide (10/25)
Lakota Country Times: Shooting pushes Pine Ridge into action (10/25)
Native Sun News Today: Sisters want police help for stolen car (10/25)
Delphine Red Shirt: Teach the language like our elders wanted (10/25)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.