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Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council discusses tribal public health in Billings

Posted at 6:02 PM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 20:02:48-04

BILLINGS — Members of several tribes from Montana and Wyoming are attending a Billings conference this week to discuss what leaders say is a new era in tribal public health.

The conference features guest speakers from all walks of life, including elders, doctors, nurses and scientists. These speakers give insight in their respective fields and give information on how to live a healthier life.

“They're sharing science, they're sharing language, they're sharing songs, they're sharing culture, the tribal public health to Covid, as well as diabetes suicide, homicide, and those kinds of, we call them disparities,” said Theda Newbreast, the mistress of ceremonies for the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council.

The conference had several breakout rooms where guests could attend the presentation of their choosing.

“It’s important because of the mental health. Because we've been in a pandemic for 16 months and the level of anxiety, the level of stress, the level of healing that needs to happen, and that’s what’s happening today is the healing,” said Newbreast.

Newbreast also mentioned that the goal of the conference is to help create a stronger community.

“We believe that Montana is a state that is in transition in a good way, where there's really good acceptance and alliances built between all the humans here no matter what their color is. We believe that we can heal from some of the 'isms'- racism, sexism, ageism- and that it’s a good place to live and I think people are ready to do that,” said Newbreast.

The three-day conference is scheduled to conclude Thursday.