Keana Kaleikini

American Indian Graduate Scholars Program

Tribal Affiliation

Navajo/Native Hawaiian

I want to help us reclaim the meaning of Diné Bikéyah (home), and watch our children flourish there, preserving our tremendously beautiful culture. My grandfather passed away recently, but many of his teachings and memories remain etched in my heart. He talked at lengths about the beautiful reciprocity of our Mother Earth and human health. “We must take care of her to take care of ourselves” he stressed as he picked up trash from the roadways. His words, my mother’s sacrifice, my son’s future, my culture’s existence, and the world’s future generation inspire me to continue the pursuit of a career in Environmental Health.

Biography

Keana Kaleikini is receiving her Master's of Science in Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her areas of study included Environmental Toxicology, Human Health Risk Sciences, and Public Policy. Keana has also completed a competitive internship as a Junior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program Environmental Health Officer with the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service on the Navajo Nation. She is currently a freelance researcher working with Pew Research and is involved with two volunteer groups for COVID-19 relief aid for the Navajo Nation.

 Her goal is to be able to apply reputable science to advocate for conservation, preservation and remediation policies not only for the Navajo Nation, but vulnerable populations around the world. She is very passionate about helping her community and will continue to seek opportunities with the Navajo Nation Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a public health advisor for COVID-19 response on the reservation. In the future, she hopes to find opportunities as an environmental scientist for environmental lobbies or health policy firms that work with Native tribes.

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