Every year, Texas Woman’s University hosts a Parry Lecture on its Houston campus. Each year features a different topic, and this year’s lecture will be over indigenizing the health professions. The lecture will take place Mar. 7 from 5-7 p.m. in the Houston Endowment Auditorium.
The 2019 Parry Lecture will be presented by Dr. Margaret P. Moss, an indigenous health and policy expert. According to Parry Lecture literature sent to The Lasso, the objectives of the lecture are to “describe underlying social determinants of health as they affect American Indians/Alaska Natives, discuss the importance of going one step further in understanding structural determinants of health and analyze how these determinants must change to make any real difference in American Indians/Alaska Natives health…”
Dr. Judith McFarlane, Parry Chair in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, said that the lecture will “give attendees a better understanding of the healthcare needs and the health situation of Native Americans.” According to McFarlane, the healthcare of indigenous people is not looked at enough, and many healthcare professionals are not aware of the specific needs of indigenous people when it comes to their health. She said that the Parry Lecture will educate healthcare professionals and students about indigenous healthcare and improve their practices.
“When you’re more aware, you can include that knowledge into your role as a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist or any medical care roles so that, hopefully, when you have an American Indian or Alaskan Native, you will be able to be more sensitive and more responsive to their healthcare,” she said.
Moss, the presenter for this year’s Parry Lecture, is the Director of the First Nations House of Learning and the Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs in British Columbia. According to the University of British Columbia website, Moss is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota), and has equal lineage as Canadian Sioux via Saskatchewan. She also works as the Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Buffalo. As an indigenous person herself, Moss can give personal insight on the importance of specialized healthcare for American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
The Parry Lecture is open to the public and free of cost, but there are only 250 seats available. McFarlane said that the seats are usually all taken, so make sure to register for the lecture ahead of time. To find more information on the lecture or on how to register, visit the website.