"Unraveling Indigenous Epistemologies and Western Science..." lecture by Dr Elisabeth Rink

Friday, November 9, 2018

"Unraveling Indigenous Epistemologies and Western Science to Understand Sexual and Reproductive Health: The Use of Community Based Participatory Research Methodology"

Visiting lecture by Dr. Elisabeth Rink at 10 - 11:45 o'clock, room KTK314

Lecture will open the course: Ethics, Epistemologies and Capabilities

Research Area:

Indigenous communities in the Northern Hempishere experience disparate reproductive health disparities, such as sexually transmitted infections, Hepatitis C, HIV, miscarriage, low birth weight, ectopic pregnancy, pre term birth and abortion, compared to non-Indigenous groups. Dr. Rink’s research demonstrates that these reproductive health disparities are markers of deep underlying issues operating and interacting at individual, family, cultural, and systems levels within Indigenous communities in the North. Of primary importance to understanding reproductive health among Indigenous peoples in Northern communities is unraveling the disconnect between western science approaches to research and Indigenous epistemologies. Dr. Rink explores her research experiences and outcomes in terms of positionality of the self within the research process, the disconnect between western reproductive health research methods and Indigenous worldviews, the balance between the individual and the collective, the importance of place in reproductive decision making, and gender dynamics.

Brief Bio:

Dr. Rink conducts community based participatory research with Indigenous communities in Montana, Greenland and Finland to address the socio-ecological determinants of reproductive health. She is particularly interested in the extent to which colonialism, historical loss and trauma, cultural norms and structural violence influence reproductive health in Indigenous communities. Since coming to Montana State University in 2006 Dr. Rink has taught courses in Human Sexuality, Research Methods, Health Behavior Theories & Models and Community Based Participatory Research. Currently, Dr. Rink is an investigator with the Center of American Indian and Rural Health at Montana State University and a research mentor in the Montana – Alaska American Indian/Alaska Native Center for Clinical and Translational Research. The US Office of Population Affairs, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health have funded Dr. Rink’s research. Dr. Rink is a passionate lover of Nature, disciplined yogini, persistent Montanan gardener, and aspiring weaver.

Elizabeth Rink, PhD MSW
Associate Professor
Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar, 2018-2019 Department of Health and Human Development
Principal Investigator with The Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity
Montana State University Bozeman, Montana

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Last updated: 5.11.2018