Seven Directions Indigenous Public Health Institute Hosts Conference to Address Opioid Use Disorder in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

Our Nations, Our Journeys: Healing from the Opioid Epidemic through Strengths-based Approaches and Data Sovereignty


PRIOR LAKE, Minn.,-- The Seven Directions Indigenous Public Health Institute and the National Network of Public Health Institutes have partnered for a third year to host a bi-annual conference centered around uplifting American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) public health leaders' voices. The three-day conference will be held in Prior Lake, Minn., from June 27-29. The theme of this year's forum is Our Nations, Our Journeys (ONOJ) 2023: Healing from the Opioid Epidemic through Strengths-based Approaches and Data Sovereignty.

"We recognize there is an opioid crisis in our communities, and this is an opportunity for future tribal public health leaders to connect with practitioners who have been at the forefront of developing and testing culturally responsive evidence-based practices," said Dr. Myra Parker (Mandan-Hidatsa), Director of Seven Directions. "Participants should look forward to strategic conversations that explore theoretical and practical methods."

The forum is designed for tribal and urban Indian public health leaders, professionals, and students to share knowledge and promising practices. The expert-led sessions will cover various topics, from improving public health data infrastructure in AI/AN communities to community-driven approaches to healing from the opioid epidemic.

Participants can also look forward to culturally informed activities throughout the conference, including large-group activities designed to promote healing from intergenerational trauma, opportunities for experiential field trip outings with local tribal communities, and multiple Native music and dance performances. Seven Directions organizers believe these activities specially make the conference so memorable for the tribal public health community who attend ONOJ.

This year's conference will include an inaugural Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, June 28. Eight outstanding individuals and teams who embody service to and with their communities and value-based work in the Indigenous public health field will be honored.

"After reviewing nominations from colleagues in the Indigenous public health field, we have selected some outstanding leaders in various public health fields," said Dr. Maya Magarati, Associate Director of Community Collaboration, Research, and Evaluation at Seven Directions. "We recognize many organizations, teams, and individuals embody these values and look forward to honoring and uplifting future tribal public health leaders."

In-person conference attendance has reached capacity, but conference sessions can also be viewed virtually. For more information about the ONOJ conference or to register to attend virtually, visit:

About Seven Directions Indigenous Public Health Institute: Seven Directions is the first national public health institute in the United States to focus solely on improving Indigenous health and wellness. We are committed to cultivating and sharing knowledge, connecting communities and resources, and working to achieve shared goals for future generations.


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