March 2010 PowWow

36th Annual Denver March Powwow 2010

American Indian Survivor's Reach out to their Community

    Native American Cancer Research (NACR) hosted a booth at the 36th annual Denver March Powwow on March 19-21, 2010. The booth was manned by American Indian (AI) cancer survivors and NACR staff members. The Denver March Powwow (DMP), an annual destination in the American Indian Powwow Calendar, was held at the Denver Coliseum. Usually attended by 3-4,000 people, DMP draws 20% from local Denver and 80% primarily from states including the Great Plains and Southwest.

    Lightly scattered among the vendor booths that feature beautiful hand-crafted clothing, jewelry, and dance regalia, are educational and organizational booths, managed by volunteers and staff of local and national non-profit organizations and services groups targeting Native Americans. NACR hosted a booth, in a prime location near the front door. The booth featured educational materials about cancer early detection and prevention, skill building for breast exams, and sign up sheets for local services. Information on survivorship, screening and palliative care, as well as the specific programs and services offered by NACR were distributes to over 300 people. Shower cards from the Denver Metropolitan Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure(r) were passed out and skill building was provided for breast self-exam as over 30% of Native women who get breast cancer are under 40 years old.

    The booth was a great opportunity for American Indian cancer survivors in the Denver Survivor's Circle to show appreciation to NACR by volunteering at the booth, sharing their stories with powwow attendees and networking with other survivors from across the US. They sold out their home-made pillows for the second year in a row! Money raised from the pillow sales supports the Memorial Fund, which provides small financial grants to AI cancer survivors in need. "We love to talk to other Indian women to encourage them to be healthy and take care of themselves!"

    About 231 people practiced breast exams and received shower cards, over 200 people received printed health information and 206 people picked up brochures from NACR. NACR staff talked to women and men about cancer prevention through exercise, diet and regular screenings. As a result, 42 women signed up for mammograms, 11 for pap tests, and 16 AI for colonoscopies. Most women who signed up were eligible for Women's Wellness Connection (WWC) or Komen Denver Affiliate services and NACR Native Sister Screening Navigators will ensure they are screened!

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