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Grad scholar seeks positive health change for Native Americans

Apr 16, 2019
Joshua Brown

Joshua BrownJoshua W. Brown is the recipient of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation Native American Graduate Scholarship and is on his way to completing both an Anthropology Ph.D. and a Master of Public Health with Community Health and Prevention Sciences concentration from the University of Montana.

Before starting his Ph.D., Joshua co-founded a Salish language immersion school called the Native American Language Teacher Training Institute at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Mont. This immersion school is still operating and some of its first students are now studying education and linguistics in college, contributing to the revitalization of the Salish language. Joshua initially enrolled in the University of Montana Anthropology Ph.D. program to continue his focus on the Salish language revitalization project. Focusing on the Salish language became increasingly more difficult after he witnessed numerous tragedies in his home community however, so he shifted his focus to one question – why do so many Native Americans have poor health and wellness outcomes?

To answer this question, Joshua is combining his work in Anthropology with a Master of Public Health degree, with a Community Health and Prevention Sciences concentration. Joshua plans on focusing his dissertation research on the connections between diet and health, along with the role of individual agency and social structures impacting Salish populations on the Flathead Reservation. He will explore how current social and economic factors influence contemporary Salish people’s ongoing dietary decisions and the connection to the prevalence of poor health outcomes.

By focusing on cultural, applied, and medical anthropology, along with a research emphasis on health equity, his goal for pursing a professional degree will eventually position Joshua to work toward change around the health challenges facing Native Americans, and more specifically the Salish community.

The Foundation is proud to support Joshua in his educational pursuits and his efforts to impact individuals and families in our community.

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