By Catherine Shen
One of the goals of this Native Tradition, Environment and Community Health Project was to find out how Native American ways of understanding the world and our place in it differ from the Western concept of environmental health. Surveys, interviews, and talking circles identified three core themes of Native environmental health: community, wellness, and inter-relationship.
“The Return” was created from the findings. It is a dreamlike account of a Native woman and her baby, and tells how these three concepts are passed to the next generation.
Michelle Montgomery, senior fellow in the UW Department of Bioethics and Humanities at the UW Center for Genomics & Healthcare Equality, and Nicholas Salazar, a student at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M., developed the book. Montgomery is a tribal member affiliated with the Haliwa Saponi and Eastern Band Cherokee.
For more on Native-themed comic books, see Bad Kids Go to Hell and Jonah Hex's Final Wife.