Register for Spirit of EAGLES conference

Learn about cancer prevention in Native communities at eighth national conference Sept. 11-14, Westin Hotel
Spirit of EAGLES logo
The Spirit of EAGLES national conference will take place at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle.

Learn how American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities are increasing participation in cancer prevention and screening activities through innovative and culturally relevant programs when Spirit of EAGLES presents "Changing Patterns of Cancer in Native Communities: Strength Through Tradition and Science" Sept. 11-14, at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle.

Colorectal cancer screening in AI/AN communities will be among the key topics at the eighth annual national conference, which will be hosted by the Mayo Clinic’s School of Continuous Professional Development. 

"American Indian and Alaska Native men and women experience high rates of colorectal cancer, are typically diagnosed with later stage disease, and experience poorer overall survival," said Teresa Garrett Hill, conference planning committee member and Spirit of EAGLES’ Hutchinson Center-based program manager.

Native cancer researchers will discuss cancer research advances that affect AI/ANs, present examples of community cancer control initiatives and highlight how the strengths of AI/AN traditions can promote cancer prevention and control.

Conference highlights include

  • A presentation of the film "Walking into the Unknown," and discussion with its star, Dr. Arne Vainio. Vainio, an Ojibwe and a family physician on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Minnesota, will focus on the reluctance of middle-aged Native men to seek health screenings—a phenomenon Vainio witnessed in himself and in his patients. He took the leading role in "Walking into the Unknown" to bring attention to this concern. The Emmy-nominated documentary follows Vainio as he experiences the health care system during ages 49 and 50—critical years for making changes for a healthier, longer life.
  • The honoring of Dr. James Hampton for his lifelong commitment and pioneering efforts to improve health in Native communities. Hampton, 78, was the first Native American oncologist in the U.S. and continues his practice today in Oklahoma City. His storied career includes work to improve cancer prevention and treatment in Native communities through local, regional and national organizations including the National Cancer Institute.

Conference speakers will also address cultural sensitivity, tobacco control, palliative care, traditional healing and western medicine, and nutrition. Find the full agenda at

The Spirit of EAGLES Community Networks Program is a NCI-funded initiative to increase cancer awareness, research, and cancer care resources among tribal nations and organizations.

Register online

Registration is open to community members, cancer survivors, health care advocates, elders, researchers, health care providers, and college/medical students.

For more information, call Garrett Hill at (206) 667-7593 or Kathy Briant at (206) 667-1137.

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