I was raised on the Navajo reservation, and grew up as a stark witness to the reality of disproportionate disparities in Native communities. I was moved to attend high school outside of the rez, because my mother saw stagnation back home: of historical despair, of poverty, of quality of life. Retrospectively examining this situation fostered a devotion to bring dignity and hope to those barely grasping for livelihood in these communities. I want to help us reclaim the meaning of Native homelands, of Diné Bikéyah, and watch our children flourish there, preserving our tremendously beautiful cultures. It is a privilege to work for CAIH, witnessing the revered, yet, compassionate scholars bring fruition to the dream of health equity.
Keana Kaleikini (Navajo) started with the Center for American Indian Health in the summer of 2016 as a JHSPH Diversity Summer Intern, providing support and research for the Behavioral Health team with the Celebrating Life program. She officially joined the Center in 2017 after completing her undergraduate education in Public Health at Fort Lewis College. She began working with the Behavioral Health team as a Research Assistant in data management. Additionally, she provides logistical support as a Research Program Assistant to the Center’s Training Programs.