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Traditionally, Tribal communities have not informed mainstream healthcare delivery and research practices. Having lived and worked with Tribal communities throughout her life, Dr. Melanie Nadeau, aka Dr. Mel, shares her story as a community-engaged scholar. Dr. Mel has nearly 20 years of research experience conducting community driven research, evaluation, and tool development in Tribal communities. This presentation will provide a brief overview of Dr. Mel’s educational path, the work she has conducted as an Indigenous scholar and key considerations when taking an Indigenous led approach. 


Dr. Melanie Nadeau is an enrolled citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in Belcourt, North Dakota. She completed both her Master’s in Public Health in community health education with a concentration in health disparities and her PhD in social/behavioral epidemiology at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Dr. Mel is a community engaged scholar and has worked more than 18 years on various research and evaluation projects with Tribal communities. She has successfully engaged a multitude of tribal health stakeholders from across the nation and is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples.  Dr. Mel currently serves as Education Program Director and Assistant Professor for the Indigenous Health PhD program at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences.  Dr. Mel also serves on the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Research Review Board, the American Public Health Association’s American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian board, and as co-chair for the American Evaluation Association Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation Topical Interest Group. 

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