A scene from the film depicts a story of health and medicine that comes from the Haudenosaunee Nations

Roswell Park Researcher Debuts Film Highlighting Opportunities for Improving Health in Indigenous Communities

  • Dr. Rodney Haring presents Roswell Park/Native community-produced film
  • Film shown to invited tribal leaders from over 550 Native Nations
  • Highlights translational science, indigenous knowledge, & contemporary medicine

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Continuing his work in indigenous health at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rodney Haring, PhD, MSW, a member of the Seneca Nation, was asked to share a short film at the 2019 Mid-Year Conference of the National Congress of American Indians, the oldest and largest organization of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

At the general assembly last week in Reno, Nevada, Dr. Haring premiered “Translating the Interplay: Indigenous Knowledge and Modern Medicine” to a group of tribal presidents, chiefs, chairwomen and chairmen along with council members in attendance from over 550 Native Nations in the United States. Produced by Dr. Haring, a research faculty member in Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, Paul Hage, Director, Health Communications Shared Resources, Department of Health Behavior along with community partners from Seneca Nation Media and Actor/Director/Producer Gary Sundown, the film emphasizes the importance of addressing health disparities related to lung cancer, access to healthcare, screenings, prevention, and education related to clinical trials.

In hopes of linking Native Nations and an indigenous knowledge to contemporary and western-based medicine, the short film highlights a tour of Roswell Park’s ATLAS facility. Mary Reid, MPSH, PhD, a collaborator interviewed in the film, strongly encourages enhanced efforts to include Native communities in screening, prevention and clinical research.

"This is our way of taking western-science out of the lab and placing it into a context in which Indigeneous knowledge can be part of the translational science process," said Dr. Haring.

The film was funded by a Translational Shared Research Award from Roswell Park. A link to view the video is available here.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or ASKRoswell@RoswellPark.org.

Media Contact

Rebecca Vogt, Media Relations Specialist
716-845-4919; rebecca.vogt@roswellpark.org