American Indian and Alaskan Native CAP
Alana Bahe (Diné), is a Director of Community Health & Development at Salish Kootenai College, who works with students, community members and professionals who provide services to tribal populations. Alana knows that The Native Voice is essential to discussions about health disparities, poverty, trauma; and more importantly resiliency. Alana’s work on the Flathead Indian Reservation has shown her that there is always an opportunity for growth.
She recognizes the importance of sharing her Native voice and works to provide a dialogue when opportunities arise. She believes that Natives have to be at the table in order for improved health outcomes to occur.
Alana holds a BS in Health and Human Performance from the University of Montana and is a Certified Health Education Specialist.
Hannabah Blue is Diné (Navajo), originally from New Mexico. Hannabah has worked on health and racial justice issues, particularly those affecting Native and Indigenous communities, LGBTQ+/Two Spirit populations and youth. Currently, as a Consultant with John Snow, Inc., she provides technical assistance nationwide on projects focusing on HIV, sex trafficking, infant mortality, substance exposed pregnancies, and working with Native communities. She earned a MSPH from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She serves on the Board of Directors for Café Cultura, which promotes creative expression and leadership among Indigenous and Chicanx youth through hip hop, spoken word and poetry.
Savannah Gene is a proud member of the Diné Nation. She is Totsóhnii (Big Water Clan), born for Hashk’áánhadzohí (Yucca Fruit Strung Out in a Line Clan). Her maternal grandfathers are Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle People Clan) and her paternal grandfathers are Tł’izíłání (Many Goats Clan).
Savannah is a Program Coordinator at the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has over 5 years of experience in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention education and serves as the co-chair of the NM Community Planning and Action Group Southwest Indigenous Initiative. Savannah is dedicated to ensuring culturally appropriate representation of Indigenous peoples.
An enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Rick grew up along the shores of Lake Superior. In 1993 he earned an MPH from the University of Hawai’i. His 28-year public health career has been focused entirely on Indigenous peoples of North America. Rick has assumed a variety of roles including community Health Educator, Public Health Advisor, and Director of Public Health at the tribal, state, and national levels. He has specialized in operational management of HIV/AIDS, Maternal and Child Health, Tobacco, Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, and Community Capacity Building. Rick currently works for the Indian Health Service as their National HIV/AIDS Program Director.
Trudie Jackson is a member of the Navajo Nation with her Clans reflecting the Bitterwater and Folded Arms People, then of the Mexican and Yucca-Strung-Out-In-A-Line People from Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. Trudie envisioned the Southwest American Indian Rainbow Gathering which started in 2010, then has continued over the years to address health disparities that impact the American Indian 2SLGBTQ community. While working in the public health sector of HIV programming, she started off as a Peer Health Advocate, onto a Prevention Specialist and case manager working with the Two Spirit community in the metro Phoenix, AZ area.
The lack of data on American Indian Transgender women in HIV/AIDS lead her to return to school. Trudie is currently completing her 1st year of doctoral studies at the University of New Mexico and her research focuses on American Indian Transgender Women in Sex Work. She has co-authored a scholarly article and conducts numerous presentations in tribal communities addressing the importance of HIV testing, education, and outreach. Her hobbies include reading, beading, and photography.
Kerry Hawk Lessard
Kerry Hawk Lessard (Shawnee) is an applied medical anthropologist working in the area of Urban American Indian Health. While an undergraduate at Florida Atlantic University, Kerry completed fieldwork with HIV+ Haitian immigrants living in South Florida. It was in the course of this work that she became aware of the importance of culture, both in the ways it shapes our understanding of health and wellness, but also how these deeply held beliefs impact decision making and behavior.
She is currently employed as the Executive Director of Native American Lifelines.
At Native American Lifelines, an Urban Indian Health Program in Baltimore City, Kerry leads a team of dedicated individuals who are committed to improving the lives of its constituents. This commitment is nowhere stronger than in their efforts to educate, support, empower, and protect Native youth. Applying decolonization theory and engaging culturally informed practices such as talking circles, traditional arts, and indigenous foodways, Native American Lifelines seeks always to honor and strengthen cultural identity, thereby building resiliency and creating opportunities for better health outcomes. Kerry’s vision remains guided by words attributed to Tecumseh, a great leader from her tribe: “A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong.” Above all else, it is Lifelines’ desire to grow a strong bundle.
Elton is of the Near to the Water People Clan, born for the Edge Water People Clan, his maternal grandfather’s clan is of the Mexican People, his paternal grandfather’s clan is of the Tangle People, this is how he is Navajo, Dine. He is originally from Whitehorse Lake, New Mexico, and grew up in Window Rock, Arizona on the Navajo Reservation. He currently resides in Maryland.
Mr. Naswood is a Senior Program Analyst, Capacity Building Division at the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, a nationwide service of the Office of Minority Health. He previously was a Capacity Building Assistance Specialist at the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC) and was formally the Founder and Program Coordinator for the Red Circle Project, AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).
He is currently a member of the Community Expert Advisory Council for the Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training (IHART) program at the University of Washington and the US Representative Leader for the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV/AIDS (IIWGHA).
Mr. Naswood received his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Sociology and American Indian Justice Studies from Arizona State University and attended the Graduate degree program in American Indian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Sheldon Raymore is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and lives in New York City. Since 2014 his mission has been to increase HIV/AIDS awareness, sexual health education, and accessibility of PrEP services for the Two Spirit community and beyond. He’s the creator of www.PrEPahHontoz.com which provides an enriching awareness experience, with culturally competent and appropriate methods of increasing PrEP awareness. The PrEPahHontoz Tipi project decreases social and cultural stigma’s associated with HIV/AIDS, and HIV Prevention. It also disseminates correct information about HIV and it’s history in the Native American community, while utilizing “culture as prevention.” He currently volunteers for the American Indian Community House and serves on a Native American “Ending the Epidemic” Advisory Group with the AIDS Institute of New York.