HONOLULU (July 14, 2014) – A new traveling exhibition, Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness, which examines concepts of health and medicine among contemporary American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people is opening in the Queen’s Historical Room at The Queen’s Medical Center (Queen’s) on July 18, 2014. A special opening ceremony hosted by The Queen’s Medical Center opened the event during Queen’s Heritage Day 2014 celebration commemorating 155 years of the legacy of its Founders.
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 opening program will also include the blessing of the exhibition and a maile untying. The exhibition will be open to the public in the Queen’s Historical Room from 12:00 noon on July 18 to late-September, 2014.
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.”
“We are honored to host this exhibition in conjunction with our 155th Anniversary year,” shared Diane Paloma, PhD, Director of the Native Hawaiian Health Program and Queen’s Historical Room. “ Na Leo ‘Oiwi (Native Voices) reflects on the voices of our Founders: King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma who sought to provide healthcare to all of the people of Hawaii.”
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 The Queen’s Medical Center, there is an online version of the exhibition at www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices.