Two researchers at the University of Arizona who work with indigenous populations are sharing their information with experts in different countries while also learning from their international peers.
Christina Oré de Boehm is a doctoral student in public health policy and management, and Stephanie Rainie is a doctoral student in maternal and child health.
The women are attending the university's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, but they traveled to Australia this summer to participate in a conference known as the International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development.
INIHKD gathers public health professionals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States to address similarities and differences in areas like sovereignty and health pertaining to their native populations.
Christina Oré de Boehm says there are challenges in the groups with whom she is working, but she is encouraged by the progress that is being made in those communities due to cultural ties and cooperative efforts.
"My experience has primarily been with tapping into that and creating that community and developing programs that affect not only the individual but the family and then the greater community," Oré de Boehm says.
"So I see a lot of positivity and innovation and a bright future for addressing some of these disparities," she adds.
The doctoral students say they feel fortunate to have been able to travel to Australia and participate in the educational conference, where they learned about what's happening in other regions.
"Every community in these indigenous communities worldwide are taking action and making changes using their own knowledge and ideas and vision of what they want in terms of a healthy community," Rainie says.
The International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development conference is held every two years in one of the four participating countries.