On this episode, Dr. Dennis Wiedman explores the origin, mission, and secrets for success of Florida International University’s Global Indigenous Faculty Forum and Global Indigenous Student Group. Dennis is an Associate Professor in FIU’s Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies. He is also founding Director of the Forum, established in 2013 to bring the Indigenous voice to FIU, South Florida, and the world. His interests include Native North Americans and global Indigenous health and wellbeing, and his research ranges from the Miccosukee of South Florida to the Inuit of the Alaskan Arctic, with much of his work in Oklahoma with the Delaware, Plains Apache, and Cherokee. As a medical anthropologist Dennis specializes in social and cultural factors influencing the global pandemic of Type II diabetes. Global perspectives are incorporated into all his courses in medical anthropology, anthropological theory, ethnohistorical research methods, and introduction to anthropology. Dennis served on the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association in the practicing/professional seat and was President of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology. Throughout his many applied and practicing leadership experiences, he has consistently published on organizational culture theory and analysis in leading journals and book chapters.
“Part of our efforts are to create places for our indigenous students to be able to celebrate and feel good about being here. Part of this empowerment is to have that story be told in many different forms but also among native people—indigenous peoples of the world—for them to learn that…it's just not happening to them.”
“A lot of health disorders are due to identity issues and not being clear about who one's self is. So if you're of a group which is always told your religion, your language is not good, it’s actually demonized…it's just not a good healthy way to live…And now we're in this new era…where the UN says it's okay to be indigenous.”