Community Engagement Advocate
Quality Health Associates of ND/Partnership to Advance Tribal Health
Tasha is focused on creating real change in our communities by providing access to traditional medicines and teachings that can help build a health care system that is culturally relevant and truly patient-centered. By revitalizing traditional knowledge and lifeways, we can address the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of our communities. She also recognizes the need to collaborate with partners and stakeholders to address the health of our communities. Tribal communities have unique and complex systems with varying relationships with local, state, and federal partners. This includes partnerships to collect and analyze data that can tell the story of our community’s health, as well as document what is working, to create our own “best and promising practices” to improve health.
MORE ABOUT TASHA
Tasha grew up on the Standing Rock Reservation and has witnessed firsthand the many health issues that her people face. Not just physical health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, but also issues like unresolved trauma, grief, addiction, and poverty that contribute to the vicious cycles seen in tribal communities. Her parents were insistent on breaking that cycle; therefore Tasha and her siblings were raised in a home centered around sobriety, Lakota culture, and ceremonies, which has contributed to much of her success in life thus far. As an adult, Tasha received a Bachelor of Science degree in radiologic sciences and worked as a radiologic technician for three years. Although she loved her job and interacting with patients, she knew she wanted to do something that had more of an impact on people’s health. Tasha then pursued a master’s degree in public health with an emphasis on American Indian health, which opened her eyes to the many reasons we see health disparities in our communities and the need to take systematic and culturally relevant approaches to change. Tasha has worked as a community engagement advocate for the Partnership to Advance Tribal Health (PATH) project since 2016. She has also served on the Mní Wičhóni Clinic and Farm Board of Directors since 2018 and took on the role of co-executive director in the fall of 2019. Mní Wičhóni Clinic and Farm is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing indigenized health and wellness services by providing free traditional and alternative medicine, indigenized wellness education, and food sovereignty programs for the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ and surrounding indigenous communities. The organization stemmed from a clinic that was providing care during the #WaterIsLifeMovement at the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Camp that began in 2016 when the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allies from across the world stood in opposition to the Energy Transfer Partners Dakota Access Pipeline.