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Friday, May 30, 2014

HS 380: Navajo Cultural Immersion

Back: Sharon, Alicia, Jaclyn, Robyn, Kaitlyn R., Katelyn O., Nancy
Front: Hannah, Allison, Breann, Olivia, Brooke
 Ashland University (AU) nursing students and faculty traveled to Window Rock, Arizona May 11-17, 2014 as part of the Navajo Cultural Immersion course, HS 380.  Students who participated in the week long immersion include: Brooke Agnes, Alicia Fulk, Breann Gindlesberger, Allison Johnson, Katelyn Osborne, Kaitlyn Runser, Jaclyn Runser, Robyn Siburt, Olivia Sprague, Hannah Thome.  Faculty members Sharon See and Nancy Thorne led the students on this cultural journey.
Students spent three days at the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital – Tse’hootsooi’ Medical Center.  While at the hospital, students learned how traditional Navajo healing practices are integrated into Western Medicine.  They had the opportunity to see traditional Navajo Hogans and sweat lodges and how they are used in patient care.  The students and faculty were also involved in a traditional blessing ceremony led by Aaron Sam, a traditional Navajo healer employed by the hospital.  Students observed both Christian and traditional Navajo beliefs in the blessing ceremony; herbs, feathers, singing and praying were all part of the blessing ceremony.  

Students spent two days traveling with the home care nurses to visit patients on the reservation.  The week included a picnic at the Rio Puerco Community Center.  At the youth center, AU nursing students provided a picnic dinner, a wind chime craft, face painting, and played basketball with the children.  A fun time was had by all.  

Kaitlyn R., Katelyn O., Kat (home care nurse),
Hannah, and Brooke
Breann, Robyn, Orena (home care nurse),
Allison, and Alicia

AU students with the Navajo children
at the Rio Puerco Community Youth Center
During the week long immersion, students enjoyed the beautiful landscape of the reservation with a hike to the top of Window Rock and Canyon De Chelly.  

Students hiked to the top of Window Rock.

Students at the top of Canyon DeChelly before the hike.
 The Navajo Cultural Immersion course, HS 380, is offered every spring semester.  During pre-immersion, students study the Navajo culture and traditional healing practices.  In May, students travel to the Navajo Reservation for a week long immersion.  For more information about this exciting opportunity please contact Sharon See ssee@ashland.edu or Nancy Thorne nthorne@ashland.edu.  There will be information sessions early in the fall semester for interested students. It is offered as a 3 Credit hour Border Crossing or Course with Study Away.

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