“What really resonated with me is how proud they are of their culture
and history despite all the challenges – many of which are
socioeconomic,” said Ben Young, a Novo Nordisk business director in Mississippi.
“We spent a lot of time with the elders talking about what was
important to them, particularly staying connected to each other and
the land, and the obstacles they face – isolation from services,
goods, medical care and schools - in managing diabetes and other
chronic diseases,” said Diabetes Care Specialist Tempe Conway.
“Hearing them speak about the importance of community and coming
together to overcome challenges as they have for generations, was
inspiring and heart-wrenching at the same time.”
The experience meant so much to Conway that after the visit, she was
compelled to move her family from Florida to her home state of
Montana, where she grew up with an awareness of the health struggles
and cultural needs of Native American communities.
“Hearing the Sioux women speak about how their connection to family,
their culture and the land helped them deal with their challenges,
stirred a longing in me to return to the land where I grew up with my
own connections,” said Tempe. “I went to help the Rosebud community
and unexpectedly, they helped me.”