With the purpose of building respectful relationships and meaningful partnerships with local Native Tribes and communities, staff members of the UC San Diego ACTRI Center for Community Health (CCH) and the UC San Diego School of Public Health participated in a first convening with members of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians and other Native Tribes. The gathering took place at the San Pasqual Tribal Hall on March 10th.

The convening was an opportunity to learn from each other to better understand the rich culture and history of local Kumeyaay communities, as well as become aware of some of the challenges they still experience after decades of oppression and discrimination. The Native presenters also offered guidance and potential solutions regarding some of these challenges. It was an honest conversation, sharing personal experiences and facts that helped to create awareness and sensitize participants about the dynamics when partnering with Native families and communities.

Special thanks to the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians for hosting the gathering, and to Chag Lowry, Alexxa Casanova, Raymond Balardes III, Johnny “Bear” Contreras, and Eva Trujillo for sharing your knowledge and experiences, and Jamaal Isaac Jones, who closed the gathering with a beautiful Native American dance demonstration.

This was just the first of many community conversations that CCH staff expects to have with diverse communities, with the purpose of cultivating cultural humility while using a respectful approach when working with community members.


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