Conference draws regional attendance


Attendees listen to presentations at the 12th annual American Indian Health Research Conference held Oct. 23 in Grand Forks. Photo by Nicholas Nelson/The Dakota Student.

The 12th annual American Indian Health Research Conference drew researchers and interested parties from all around the region last week to Grand Forks.

Held Oct. 23 in the Alerus Center, the conference focused on research into health trends and problems facing Native American populations.

The conference was started by UND professor Jacque Grey 12 years ago when she was working on her post-doctorate education.

She was looking to do research on Native American communities but was denied by the UND Institutional Review Board, because its members thought she was going to be doing the same work as another person.

Instead of moving on, Grey worked on a way to fix the problem, inviting people from all around the world to come together to discuss the research that was being done, so there would be no overlaps.

The first conference drew about 50 people, which has since grown to as many as 125.

“It’s a great program with lots of opportunities,” Grey said. “It brings people here to develop research and collaboration.”

This year’s conference featured keynote speaker Dave Baldridge, Board Member and Executive Director of International Association of Indigenous Aging.

The conference also includes other presentations, awards, posters done by students and a


“This shows everyone what we are doing, ways of collaboration, student involvement and tribal involvement,” Grey said.

The conference has hosted people from diverse groups like the Manitoba Chiefs Council and North Dakota State University, in addition to national guests from Australia.

“This is short of some national conferences,” Grey said. “It is one of the larger ones for this region.”

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].