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Moving Forward the Healing Paths for Families and Communities

Women and Children’s Health in Wahington, DC and New York ()


Wahington, DC and New York


Aboriginal Midwife Katsi Cook (Akwesasne Mohawk) founded Woman is the First Environment Collaborative.

Sherill “Katsi Cook” Barreiro (Wolf Clan Mohawk) is an Aboriginal Midwife, mother of six, and grandmother of seven.

Since 1983, Katsi Cook has conducted community-driven environmental justice health research. She used this knowledge to found the Woman is the First Environment Collaborative which brings together Native American women’s leadership in reproductive and environmental health issues.

A new generation of girls and young women in Indian Country must now be educated within, and renew for ourselves, ancient ways of thinking so that the powers of their womenhood can be better utilized to move forward the healing paths of our families and communitites. Reproduction is not just about reproducing bodies but also, it's about reproducing culture and society.  - Katsi Cook

  • Katsi has served as a Lecturer at the University at Albany School of Public Health and as a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s American Indian Program.
  • In 2006, Katsi Cook returned to Running Strong, as Director of Woman is the First Environment Collaborative and as a Field Coordinator, after taking several years to focus on her research. Her return and current work has been made possible by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation. 

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