Kina Together will serve Native Americans Ojibwe in northern Minnesota. This project has been developed through partnerships between the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth Campus UMMS Duluth, Department of Biomedical Sciences BMS and Bois Forte Health and Human Services, Oshki Ogimaag Charter School located on Grand Portage Reservation, and ISD #361 Indian Education Program, 94 Falls, Minnesota. All the communities are served are severely underserved and lie in remote areas of the state. The three communities are also categorized as DHHS Health Professions Shortage Areas and Medically Underserved Areas as well as USDA food deserts with both low food access and low-income populations. Minnesota is home to the nations worst Native American health disparities; these same disparities have contributed to disproportionate COVID-19 infection and death rates among the states Native Americans. At root of these disparities are multiple social determinants of health, including long-standing food insecurity which has been exacerbated by COVID-19. The coming together of community members to strengthen connectedness and engage in traditions and ceremonies have been core elements of Ojibwe culture for thousands of years and have been a central to resiliency, coping, and wellbeing. The practice of these essential survival mechanisms has been severely limited by the emergence COVID-19. Kina provides safe options tailored to priority needs, including gathering as a community. This will be achieved using virtual, culturally tailored activities to promote 1 COVID-19 awareness, 2 practice of COVID-19 safety, 3 COVID-19 and online media literacy, 4 food sovereignty to help curtail long-standing food insecurity that negatively impacts health and has been exacerbated COVID-19.
University of Minnesota - Duluth
Anna Wirta Kosobuski