Indigenous Health Systems: An Emergent Yaqui-Centered Framework for Public Health Practice
AuthorOré de Boehm, Christina E.
Health systems strengthening
Indigenous health equity
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 1-Nov-2018
AbstractThe Yaqui Tribe in Sonora, Mexico is tapping into its collective strength to challenge socio-political and environmental conditions that have exacerbated health inequities. Yaqui traditional systems of governance and healing represent Indigenous knowledge, strength, resilience, and resistance. They continue to serve their communities. Yet, they are omitted from global and national public health initiatives. This is a qualitative study of the health system that serves the Yaqui Tribe in Sonora, Mexico to inform Yaqui-centered public health. From 2014 – 2016, the study accomplished four aims: 1) describe the Yaqui community health and traditional healing systems, including their interface with the Mexican health system; 2) identify Yaqui health and healing concepts; 3) define an emergent Yaqui-centered framework for public health practice; and 4) share findings with tribal leaders in United States and Mexico. Nine traditional healers and two lay health workers shared stories/conversation about their experience as practitioners. A key finding of the study was the centrality of practicing within Yaqui worldview, knowledge, and lived experiences. As a result, the proposed framework is defined by 1) guiding principles of relational accountability; 2) ancestral knowledge of healing and being well in relation the land/Creator; and 3) interactions and context, both historic and contemporary. It is a strength-based, systems thinking approach to practice that can be applied to current tribal health system performance improvement efforts. The framework is a seed intended to inspire further development ‘by and for’ the Yaqui Tribe and Indigenous communities within the Americas and beyond. At the policy level, this study contributes to reframing public health practice as an act of self-determination, an expression of indigeneity, and intrinsically a fight for equity.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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