Connecting Public Health to Culture
Katrina Domnick, Leader From the Region
Storyknife, July/August 2022 edition
Katrina Domnick of Bethel is a Calista Shareholder and scholarship recipient looking to develop meaningful pathways between culture and health. Domnick is pursuing her Master in Public Health from the University of North Dakota with an emphasis in Indigenous Health.
“The path to promote health lies within our communities and people itself,” she says.
Domnick is deeply rooted in her community. She has a family, a home and a job in Bethel. Her scholarship from Calista Education & Culture, Inc. (CECI) is helping her to complete her studies as she continues to work.
She initially wanted to go to school to become a family physician—and still sees that in her future—but she is drawn to research that works to coalesce Yup’ik values and teachings with health on many levels.
“Many values within our Yup’ik culture contribute to health—mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually,” she says.
Domnick works on research projects as an Associate Research Coordinator at Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel. In her work, many aspects of public health resonate with many Yup’ik cultural values.
“Throughout my experiences I have seen how our deep cultural teachings on wellness have contributed to a life in balance,” says Domnick.
As she pursues her master’s degree, she says the CECI scholarship will give her the opportunity to grow in a field that has more flexibility to prioritize culture. Culture itself plays a major role in public health to address healthcare inequities in the Alaska Native population.
Domnick’s education, research and work all come together to bridge aspects of western medicine and the Yup’ik perspective on health.
“For research and its results to truly help a population such as our Yup’ik people, it must incorporate the resources and culture already present in our community.”
The mission of Calista Education & Culture, Inc. is to celebrate and promote Yuuyaraq, the traditional/cultural way of being in the Calista Region which inspires and encourages our people to achieve their dreams through education.
The scholarship program awards scholarships two times each year. The application deadline for the Fall Term scholarship is due June 30, and the Spring Term scholarship application is due December 1. Apply today!