I have run into over and over again the flippant disregard for American Indian people and their struggles in the mainstream. What I think will help is having American Indian leaders who know the system and how to navigate and bring attention to American Indian needs using western language and mechanisms. A great necessity is the ability to effectively gather data, analyze it, and present it to create policy. I would like to be one of these scholars who has the expertise to make change possible for American Indians.
Chelsey Russell is from the Navajo Nation and was born and raised in Flagstaff, AZ. She graduated in May 2019 from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with her MPH degree, her focus was on Environmental Health and its impacts on the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness of indigenous peoples. Her other interests include cultural determinants of health, built environments, food sustainability, and mental health promotion. Upon graduation, Chelsey received an internship with CARE Consulting Group which she now holds a full-time position with. Among other contracts, they do data and evaluation for Tribal behavioral health programs. She has the opportunity to work with Tribes across the Nation on capacity building projects that address American Indian mental health, substance abuse, and opioid addiction needs, which is exciting to her.
She graduated from Stanford University in 2010 with a bachelor’s in human biology and concentration in Native American Community Health. She has experience working at the Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley in San Jose, CA. At the IHC, she worked on mental health promotion and substance abuse prevention programming for America Indian youth.