Mishkwa Unungo Kwe niidiznikaz. Niin Tara Maudrie niidiznikaz. Baawitigoininiwag onjibaa nookomis, and nindede. Inawemaagan Waantiyong nindojibaa. Miiahiikenh nindibendaagoz. This Anishinaabe greeting explains, both explicitly and implicitly, our accountability and relationships to our people, traditional lands, culture, and community roles. My greeting states that I am Anishinaabe, more specifically Ojibwe, named in my language as Red Star Woman, and my English name, Tara Maudrie, translates to Mother Earth in many languages.
I am a citizen of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Ojibwe Indians and my father, grandfather, and grandmother are from Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, where our ancestors have lived since time immemorial. Before I was born, my family moved close to where the river bends, also known as Detroit, Michigan where I have lived my whole life. I am what many call an ‘urban Indian’ meaning that, like 71% of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) in the U.S., I live in an urban area where AI/AN specific healthcare is extremely underfunded or non-existent and AI/AN populations are deemed ‘invisible’— these inequities drive my research interests.
Another central part of my identity is that I am a member of the Snapping Turtle clan, a clan whose responsibility within our tribe is teaching and healing. In Anishinaabe culture, the Ojibwe peoples are known as keepers of tradition and story. My cultural role is not only as a teller of stories, but more importantly as a keeper of stories – a role that reflects my career ambitions as a researcher. AI/AN peoples’ storytelling strengthens our relationships to our communities and facilitates co-learning and knowledge sharing, two key tenants of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). Research is a form of storytelling, and one way that I am to fulfill my clan role as a healer and teacher is to keep and share Native community stories through CBPR interventions.
Prior to coming to the Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health, I worked as a program assistant at Detroit American Indian Health and Family Services and completed her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science at Oakland University. I completed my MSPH in the Human Nutrition Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH) in Spring 2021. While completing my MSPH degree, I worked with the CIH as a practicum student with Dr. Victoria O’Keefe and Dr. Melissa Walls. I also led a mixed methods CBPR study of food insecurity in partnership with the Baltimore Native Community. I am currently pursing my PhD in the Social Behavioral Interventions Program at BSPH. I am passionate about urban Native health and food security and hope to continue to explore these issues and advocate for policy change throughout my career. You can keep up with my work through PubMed and ResearchGate.
PubMed Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Maudrie+TL&cauthor_id=33869561
Research Gate Link: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tara-Maudrie
Tara is based in Minneapolis, MN.