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American Cancer Society roles out NEW site for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities!

by Rebecca Cowens-Alvarado February 02, 2011

Exciting NEW cancer and health education for American Indian and Alaska Native communities!

Let’s face it, we may not like to talk about it, but cancer affects all of us. Did you know that American Indians and Alaska Natives have the lowest survival rates among any population? But there’s something we can do about that. Education is the key to preventing cancer and helping survivors live better and longer lives.

The Circle Of Life (COL) is a teaching tool and website featuring holistic and positive health materials that are customizable for tribal communities. The COL Website is also interactive! There are many options available to you such as choosing the art you want to go on a factsheet (all by Native artists) to customize it for your community or developing and sharing your own digital story.

The COL is built upon common tribal values such as spirituality and respect for the natural world. The COL also builds on existing cancer education resources and tries to fill in gaps. The COL was developed by American Indian, Alaska Native, and other experts in collaboration with the American Cancer Society.

Education that’s by you… for you…. Use the Circle Of Life Website and educational resources for yourself to learn more about cancer and health, or use it to encourage others in your community to help them stay well.

One key feature of the Web site is this blog. As we begin to promote the COL Web site as a resource, we would like to hear your feedback. Please feel free to post any comments that you have about navigating the Web site or finding resources so that we can continue to improve. You can also use this opportunity to share your experiences using the COL resources in your community. You can also send us comments via email at

We want to acknowledge the contributions of Charlotte Hofer in helping us with this first blog post. Charlotte Hofer is a member of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) and Public Relations Manager for the American Cancer Society in South Dakota. She writes a national column on health for Indian Country Today. To see a recent column, click here :

How to make your own story
A Step-By-Step Approach to Creating a Digital Story (Taken from the University of Houston Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling)
STEP 1:  Choose a Topic
STEP 2: Collect Resources
STEP 3: Select Content, Develop a Storyboard
STEP 4: Write a Script
STEP 5: Import, Record, Finalize

Please see attached document for more details on each step. (please load the steps to creating a digital story document here)
COL imgStory
How to Share Your Story
Have you created your own Digital Story? Want to make it the newest addition to the Circle Of Life story sharing page?
It is as simple as uploading your digital story to us and if it meets all the requirements, it will be posted to our story sharing page.
Your story must:
  • Be no longer than 3 minutes in length
  • You must provide an artist statement explaining what your story is about as well as what inspired you to create it
  • Must abide by all the American Cancer Society criteria
 If it passes the above criteria upload your story so we can check it out!