BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo welcomed the Native Voices traveling exhibition with a winter ceremony and a panel discussion.
The traveling exhibition is now under the stewardship of the American Library Association (ALA). Through a competitive process, ALA selected the Health Sciences Library at the University at Buffalo as one of the initial hosts of the Native Voices traveling exhibition. The University at Buffalo is part of the State University of New York system.
The University at Buffalo opened the exhibition with a ceremony on February 11 that featured remarks by Margaret Moss, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at the School of Nursing, along with a traditional Native American ceremony led by Jodi Maracle, a Tyendinaga Mohawk scholar and doctoral student.
Austin Booth, vice provost for the University at Buffalo Libraries, said, “The exhibition raises awareness of important issues related to the health needs of contemporary Native peoples and offers an excellent opportunity to learn more about the way in which traditional healing methods can enhance wellness.”
The Friends of the Health Sciences Library at the University also sponsored a four-person panel discussion in March. The speakers were: Pete Hill, who spoke about health disparities among Native communities; Dr. Jim Jarvis, a pediatrician of French Canadian and Mohawk ancestry, who addressed “trauma-informed care;” Amy Fish, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Counseling who discussed Native mental health issues; and Dr. Margaret Moss, who moderated the discussion.
“We estimate that about 1,000 individuals visited the exhibit,” said Pamela M. Rose, web services and library promotions coordinator.
Rose added visitors admired the exhibition’s interactive components (which are provided via iPads), and one professor from a nearby college assigned visiting the exhibition as an extra credit opportunity for his Native American Studies class. Incidentally, most of those interactive components are also available via the free Native Voices app, which is available through both iTunes and Google Play.
The Native Voices traveling exhibition will be hosted at 104 libraries under ALA’s sponsorship. Each library will host the exhibition for six weeks. The ALA sponsorship of Native Voices will be a four-year journey, running through June 2020.
The National Library of Medicine often works with ALA to extend the reach of NLM exhibitions to diverse libraries and exhibition centers across North America.