Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Epidemiology & Community Health

First Advisor

Cornelia Ramsey


Little is known about the health of the indigenous peoples in Virginia. When compared to the total U.S. population, indigenous peoples nationwide disproportionately experience disparities in health status across multiple health indicators. Research shows that these disparities are largely due to the inequitable distribution of social and economic determinants present within indigenous communities. Because the indigenous peoples of Virginia are affected by inequitable social and economic conditions, there is reason to believe that health indicators may mirror that of the indigenous population at-large. Outlined in this paper is a framework for exploring the needs, strengths, and priorities of indigenous communities in Virginia. This paper proposes that the use of a culturally relevant methodology, such as Talking Circle, combined with an emergent and community-based participatory approach, will lead to a more authentic identification of the strengths, needs, and priorities of indigenous communities than traditional public health surveillance methodology, as well as build community capacity for on-going engagement.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2009

Included in

Epidemiology Commons