Communicating NRDAR Science: Translating Contaminant Data to Art

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The NRDAR science webinar series highlights expertise, data, and information developed for NRDAR cases or for potential new methods application. In this presentation, Mallery Quetawki describes her work turning contaminant data into art for communicating science to Native American communities.


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Length: 01:03:35

Location Taken: Columbia, MO, US


[Moderator] Or at least attempting to, and then it should be posted on the USGS NRDAR webpage. Just a reminder that we do have some upcoming ORDA Science Webinars. Those dates are listed here. if you're not currently on our webinar email distribution list please contact Samantha Foster her email is listed there on the slide. >> Contact Samantha Foster, to be added to the webinar email distribution list we also have a disclaimer from the solicitor's office down there at the bottom, just on this presentation and it's recording. >> The findings and conclusions in the webinar are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of DOI’s NRDAR Program, the Department -- including the trustee bureaus, or the United States. Although some of the presenter(s) may be employees of government agencies, the ideas described herein do not necessarily reflect the policies of those agencies, and no official endorsement should be inferred on NRDAR. And then I would like to ask if you have a hot topic that you would like included in this webinar series, please drop it in the chat box or contact me directly. >> Have a topic idea? Please type into chat box or contact Jo Ellen Hinck ( Because this particular presentation is a little bit different, outside the scope of what we normally have on this webinar series, Mallory and I talked beforehand. And, I wanted to give just a few slides on why I think that this particular opportunity to have an artist speak to us could be very informative. So, just thinking about the question “How is NRDAR science communicated to the public?” And really we could even drop the NRDAR and just talk about science in general, but because this is a NRDAR forum, we'll stick with NRDAR, and if we think about all the great case managers and case teams we have out there that have so much expertise there's journal articles, there's great presentations that are done, we have websites devoted to various cases that have the scientific results, the papers, the reports reported within those public forums. We also have a different ways to engage the public through virtual meetings and requests for projects, local news media, whether it's newspapers or television stations, can pick up on some of the great success stories that NRDAR has through its restoration projects, and then we have different interactive displays out on the landscape on DOI lands that relate to NRDAR science. However, you all may have seen these books before >> “Don’t Be Such a Scientist” by Randy Olson, “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?” by Alan Alda. but sometimes scientists aren't the greatest at communicating to a non-science audience. You know, Alan Alda even created a whole organization devoted to this, his Alan Alda Center for Science Communication. So that begs the question if we have all of this science, do people understand it, and if they don't understand it, are they going to trust the information that's being provided? So, there's a whole slew of papers that have dove into this particular topic, but one that struck me is this Wilkins, et. al., paper in 2018 that actually looked at preferred information channels for specifically nature related topics. And what you'll see filtered up to the top is that visual media, the personal experience, something more interactive, perhaps, than just a journal publication or being given a fact sheet. So, with that, how can we help people experience our information? And, knowing that different people digest information in different ways -- it can be very sensory. This particular slide shows some examples of art that is communicating environmental data. The first picture there is an image of art by John Sabraw, who actually uses/creates his own paints from acid mine waste. Artist Chris Chafe has created music from climate change data. This is real fascinating -- the older it is the lower the notes. The lower [notes] represent lower temperature and through time you see the notes getting higher, or you hear the notes getting higher and faster. And I had this played for my kids and they really understood some of the nuance with it being set to music, which is great. I guess if you're really adventurous and want to taste some of the environmental data these pollution popsicles from Taiwan might pique your interest, or, if you want to smell things, artist Michael Pinsky created pollution pods that represent the air pollution of the five worst cities in the world. And, if you want to feel some of the environmental data, artist Nicholas Bentel has created a line of clothing that actually changes using carbon sensors to air pollution. So, lots of different ways to experience art other than just reading it, and that art can have various purposes: it can be for information, activism, healing, or therapy. But then if we think about specifically contaminant data, which a lot of NRDAR data falls under, the representation in art isn't new. I have just a few examples here of Egyptian hieroglyphics that showed water purification systems, Claude Monet painted this picture of Westminster over the Thames in 1871 that that shows the air pollution of the time, and then more recently Brandon Balangee has used crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to create images of fish that have been extirpated since this spill. So, lots of different examples of how we might communicate some of our findings to the public, and Mallory Quetawki has agreed to join us today. I’ve been very excited about this. If any of you have talked to me recently, you have heard me talking about this opportunity to have Mallory talk with us. So, thank you Mallory for agreeing, and with that, I’m going to go into her bio and then we're going to hand it over to her. So, Mallory is from the Pueblo of Zuni, but resides in Albuquerque. She is currently employed as the Artist-in-Residence with the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy, Community Environmental Health Program, where she creates art as translation for scientific research. Mallory incorporates her education in biology and her art to create a bridge for communication between science, medicine, and native communities. She also has three large-scale murals on permanent display. “Morning Prayer” at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, and “Water is Life” and “Halondina Leya’u”, both at the Ho’n A:wan park in Zuni Pueblo. Her painting symboliz[ing] the ties between the Grand Canyon and Zuni culture is part of a traveling collaboration called the Zuni Map Art Project, which has been displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and featured in a documentary by National Geographic. Other noted works include two self-published coloring books entitled “Zuni Pottery Designs” and “Sun Faces”, and a 12-piece set entitled “What Makes a Zuni?” on permanent display at the Zuni IHS. Mallory's work can also be found at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Bioengineering Department where a painting describes the gut biome, and it's on display there. Mallory's diptych painting regarding uranium mining affecting native lifeways will be part of a traveling exhibition hosted by the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts this summer. So, with that, Mallory, I am going to stop sharing and I am going to make you the presenter. >> Slide Content: Artist In Residence Overview Mallery Quetawki - Zuni Pueblo. University of New Mexico, College of Pharmacy-Community Environmental Health Program. Funding - NIH / N I E H S, P 42 E S 025589 (UNM Metals) This material was developed in part under cited research awards to the University of New Mexico. It has not been formally reviewed by the funding agencies. The views expressed are solely those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of the agencies. The funders do not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this presentation. Logos: UNM Health Sciences, NIH National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Programs, Southwest Research and Information Centers, UNM, Stanford University, Native E H Equity, Indigenous Education Institute, I E I; N B C S, Navajo Birth Cohort Study; E C H O, Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes. Images are graphic DNA Sequences with Native imagery. [Mallory] Okay, here we go. Good afternoon everybody. My name is Mallory. Today I will be sharing the overview of my artist-in-residence with the College of Pharmacy, in which there are three programs underneath the Community Environmental Health Program. There is METAL, the Native Environmental Health Equity Program, and the Navajo Birth Cohorts Study, all of which I play some role as an artist. A few, like in the NBCS program, I am actually a research assistant. I do use part of my scientific and medical healthcare education to help collect data from four-year-old Navajo children. Let's begin: I guess I’ll start talking about how this idea came about. Why is it so difficult to initiate dialogue regarding research health and medicine among native communities and individuals? Well, there are three main factors that occur when talking with these communities. The primary one is that a lot of scientific collection, like especially biological samples, do go against some native belief systems. We believe in the idea of being whole, especially once we do return to the earth--when we leave as our as living beings. We believe that each person should be whole, and so that the collection of certain biological specimen does go against spiritual belief systems, so you'll see some pushback from some communities when, in regards to biological sample collection, especially if it does have to do with genetics, there's not only these cultural barriers but also language. There are hundreds of spoken Indigenous languages here in the United States. Just in New Mexico alone we have six language groups. We have five which are Puebloan, and so there's Keres, Tewa, Tiwa, Towa and Zuni. And the biggest language possibly here is Athabaskan, which both the Apache and the Navajo speak separate dialects of, and, so that in itself is really difficult because a lot of scientific terminology, healthcare and medical terminology do not translate into these ancient languages. So it has to be really broken down even further just to translate some documents and data into the local languages. Another reason why the dialogue is so hard to come by is because the people remember. There are a couple incidences that have to do with historical trauma, one of which is the Havasupai in the Grand Canyon. Back in 89, ASU kind of went against their intent for their sampling collections. our people remember this the incident. I don't know if many of you are aware, but ASU was meant to go to the Havasupai community to collect biological samples to see why so many of the people were afflicted with diabetes, and a lot of people gave their blood samples. A couple years later one of those community members was a student at ASU and sat in on a presentation where they were actually talking about using these collections to look into schizophrenia, and other brain behavior studies like alcoholism, and then they were also being used to study the migration history of the Americas and the Bering Strait theory. And that really goes against a lot of cultural values and stories that we've passed down to a younger generation. So, I mean, obviously that is/was a really big trespass onto this community, and a lot of you know that word got out, and it has been really hard to try to approach native communities, especially when we're talking about doing research, whether it be on the land or the people. So, that's just something we have to really think about and make sure that our informed consents are written as clear as possible, taking into consideration the local culture, the language, everything that we possibly can about the people that live in these areas. We have to be respectful with that. And one of which ways that was suggested to help the people better understand some of the language in these informed consents, or in the data sharing when the researchers would return and share what they were finding, or give updates to the communities on the progress of their work. >> Community Prospective. Group Images from the communities including the Blue Gap-Tachee Chapter Tachee Uranium Concerns Committee and the Red Water Pond Road Community Association. One situation happened in 2016 in Tachee Blue Gap area in Arizona on the Navajo nation. Our director of the community environmental health program here at UNM Dr. Johnnye Lewis during a sheep roast in Blue Gap she asked the community, after all the presentations were done and all the data was shared by fellow researchers, she asked the community “Did you understand this? Is there anything that was not clear? Is there a way we can make these things better understandable for you?” And the community actually suggested that they find visual ways, a visual manner of sharing the data and the history behind the research on the abandoned uranium mines that are all over Navajo nation and other tribes in the southwest. And they mentioned to her that the infographics and the graphs and the charts that the researchers had shared were just not enough or they still did not understand and they suggested that maybe using art to simplify and break it down further would be helpful. So, Dr. Johnnye Lewis had to sit on this idea of “How do we do this? how do we share these scientific ideas to the people?” And she just so happened to be in a meeting at the Zuni IHS hospital in Zuni Pueblo which is in the midwestern half of New Mexico, along the Arizona border, just about 30 minutes south of Gallup, New Mexico on the I-40 interstate. She walked through the hallway and actually saw a set of artwork hanging on the walls. These pieces were created in 2007 when I was a student at UNM here in Albuquerque, and it's a series called “What Makes a Zuni?” >> Images of “Skeletal System”, “Heart”, and “DNA” art from the “What Makes a Zuni?” exhibit and there's small paintings depicting different anatomical features of the human body. It goes from organ systems, specific organs, all the way down to the cellular level of what can be found within the human body, and each of these images are adorned with Zuni symbology, Zuni traditional patterns and designs that you find in our culture, and this actual series of paintings were very well received by my community, something of which I myself was not thinking it would affect my people this way. But doctors and providers working at the IHS will constantly approach me and say “People have started talking to us. People seem to be a little more comfortable.” and every time they come to an appointment, or they're in the urgent care they refer themselves to one of your paintings, they say. And I said “How is that? How is that happening?” and they said “They actually asked about one of the images.“ And I do recall this happening several times in the community with me personally where someone says “Is that what the heart really looks like?” or “How does it work? How is that in our body? How is that? How do I keep that healthy? Is that what's affecting my diabetes? Is that what's affecting my high blood pressure? What/how does this system work?” and it was amazing to see that dialogue open up between provider and patient. Where in Zuni we speak the Zuni language, and that language is one of a kind. It's not related to any of the other Pueblo languages, or any other indigenous language in the world. Actually, we are a language isolate. Because, I mean Zuni: we are pretty isolated. We're in the high mountains area of the Zuni mountains here in the west side of New Mexico, and, so as I said before, a lot of terminology cannot be translated into Zuni. I mean one word, like the word diabetes is actually a whole paragraph in the Zuni language just trying to describe what's going on in your body, so using these images that Dr. Johnnye Lewis saw, the light bulb went on in her head, and she said “I think we can do it. We found our person.” And so she got a hold of me in 2016, sat me down and pitched his idea. I’ve been a gung-ho ever since. I’ve been working with them since 2016. My process is definitely I’m not doing this alone. I do collaborate with everyone I work with, both the researchers/the epidemiologists and cultural liaisons with the communities that we work with. My process in creating these pieces is not just making sure I stay up with my studies, attending meetings presentations just to learn about current methodologies, current issues and definitely reading into these peer reviewed journals, taking courses, just staying up to date with what's going on. Also, on the other end, when it comes to reaching out to the communities, being that I am from Zuni, Pueblo, I cannot speak for every tribe that is out there. We are all individual tribes, we all have our own cultures, languages but there are a few things, and it's been coined Indigenous way of knowing, or traditional or native ways of knowing, traditional ecological knowledge. It's also been a word that's been labeled the ideas that the Native American community is something we all share. There is something that is pretty much widespread. It's a spiritual holistic idea across the tribes, especially when it comes to the land, the people, animals and, so using that idea is what I create my artwork with. And not only am I seeking guidance from other traditional keepers of knowledge, community members, going through literature from tribally owned museums, tribally owned book collections just to make sure there's an accurate form of representation. I mean, it is very important that the people are properly represented. That I am observing cultural sensitive information making sure that everything is presented in a proper manner, and that it is not breaking any taboos in any tribe that we work with. So, that is a long process. To date we have now on hand at 16 paintings and several digitally created images. And these pieces of work can be found. An original painting at the Stanford House here at the College of Pharmacy at UNM in Albuquerque, and with permission you can definitely reach out if any of these paintings are to your liking and you would like to display somewhere we do like to share this with the greater community so I will post my email and contact information here at the end. So, I’ll go ahead and dive into some of the paintings. I’ll go into detail on a couple of them. However, I just kind of want to show you this little slideshow that I created. >>“Zinc-Binding Protein”, 16 by 20 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2017. This painting uses squash blossom designs to represent Zinc, the metal we all desire and cherish. A turquoise needlepoint jewelry pin, representing Zinc, holds and binds a representational whole, and functional protein. Green circles, representing undesirable toxic agents, float in the background and a damaged, unbound protein molecule with a toxic agent at its center, lingers in the lower left. This is one of the first paintings I created. It's a little bit more technical than I wanted it to be, but it is describing the zinc-binding protein, the zinc finger protein. We have a study called the zinc supplement study, in which we are trying to see if using zinc supplements in the communities who are exposed to or are living in proximity to a abandoned uranium mines, if there is a way that zinc supplementation will prevent some of the people from getting any adverse health effects from heavy metal exposures. So, using art, I pretty much, to the T, describe what I know, textbook style, the zinc-binding protein look like, and the good metal we want and the bad metal we [don’t] want. The good metal we want, that represents zinc, are these little squash blossom jewelry pieces that you'll see out there in the desert Southwest. They’re very made very famous by both Navajo and Pueblo people using turquoise and silver, so I depicted that as the good metal. The bad metal, those little green circles, once they attached to the zinc fingers you could see how the protein breaks down, and so this is kind of the depiction on what good metal versus bad metal -- heavy metals -- exposure does to the human body. We move along. There's another way that, in when you approach a native community, especially here in the Southwest, when you open the dialogue at a meeting, let's say you're presenting, what can also cause pushback among the tribes, especially with research, is if you come in the door and you start speaking negative terms first. So, you have to lighten up the mood you have to kind of avoid certain topics or find ways to bring it in without sounding too negative. So, there's a lot of things around the health exposures when living in proximity to these abandoned mines and we don't want to go out there and start talking that it's going to cause cancer, that it's going to cause health effects, it's going to do this to you do, that to you. That's just very negative talk, and it's actually very taboo in in meetings and talking circles with native tribes. So, instead of doing the presentation vocally, we kind of segue into those ideas and we present them with pictures depicting what happens, but this in such a manner that it's almost it's almost censored, as you can say, using art. >> “DNA Damage”. 16 by 20 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2017. In this painting each type of damage factor, natural or environmental, is a literal “wrecking-ball” causing damage and breaking a strand of DNA. Painted designs taken from Pendleton blankets surround the damaged strand. So this DNA damage idea, with radiation symbols, reactive oxygen species, arsenic, different kinds of things, destroying the DNA and that in itself brings a dialogue where, basically, we show these paintings and then they start asking what's going on. And that's when we get to kind of segue into the topic, instead of us starting that dialogue as researchers because then that begins the conversation on a negative note, and that is very actually disrespectful in a lot of native communities. But, here's a one of my favorite paintings that I did. it's called DNA repair. >> "DNA Repair”, 16 by 20 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2017. Turquoise beads create the twisted outline of DNA strands. The string on one side of a strand is broken and the beads are starting to come loose. Flowers appear in the negative space next to the broken part of the strand. It's using the idea of beading to show how our DNA can repair itself in the process, without really going into depth of the processes, but the idea that DNA can repair itself. So, I used the idea of beading, and how we can fix broken bead strings, and the idea of using flowers as a sign of regrowth and healing. These designs are taken from Crow nation, the Apsáalooke. They are part of our community partners that we work with. We work with Navajo nations, Acoma Pueblo or Laguna Pueblo -- excuse me -- the Laguna Pueblo, Cheyenne River Sioux, the Crow Nation, all of which are our native communities that are living in and around areas that are either contaminated by mine waste, or other forms of contamination. And this is the Thinking Zinc study I had mentioned. There's more information here at the bottom. >>"Thinking Zinc Study" brochure. More info at Presentation at This is one study where the art is widely used to present to the communities by community liaisons, both in the Navajo nation, which is where this study is right now, we haven't quite expanded anywhere else yet, but we plan to. Here's another painting depicting a regular DNA, a healthy DNA. Something which we have to explain genetics and how things are passed down. >>”DNA All My Relations.” 16 by 20 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2018. This painting depicts a healthy DNA strand with clan symbols from Navajo and Cheyenne River Sioux. The yellow and red rays in the background represent 12 of the original thirteen Sioux clans. One clan is depicted in the actual DNA strand. The white teepee structures and the triangular peaks around the rays represent the idea of home and belonging Some of these paintings are meant for both -- not just community members – but, I feel like it's also teaching researchers and other academics who are involved with these communities, because sometimes I feel there has to be a level of understanding on the cultural values of a community, to a researcher, especially if they are working with biological samples. We consider as native, most native tribes consider kinship, not just through blood, but many other ways our clan systems and a lot of tribes are what identify someone as a relative. It's not just clan system, but we have social structures where we have membership in different parts of our society, whether it be medicine, the kiva, different matriarchal societies where there's leadership in little sections of our society. And that also unifies those groupings as family, as relatives, and so, and even among one another as Native Americans in general. And, so, there is this saying -- it's in Indian country -- they say “all my relations” and so that's pretty much talking about everybody, every single person. And so, this shows all our clan systems, both, I think I represented Navajo, Crow and Sioux and Zuni in this DNA PE. Moving along. One of the hardest, complex system to describe is the immune system. There are so many working parts, so many little pieces and bits. The leukocytes, the B-cells, T-cells. All those are really hard to kind of break it down, and one of my processes of making my artwork, every time I’m painting a, let's say like a pathway of some sort, I sit there and I think “How do I tell my grandmother, my grandfather in Zuni--who 80 to 90% speaks in Zuni all the time (they rarely have an English word to add into a conversation)?” I say “How do I describe this to them?” And so, how my paintings come along, and to just to be inclusive of the other Native American tribes, for the series regarding our immune system, I created the medicine wheel and the Navajo wedding basket as the idea of life, and what we want to hold sacred and keep safe. And so that in itself made the cell, and outside the cell you can see these impressions of the little animals. You have a buffalo, the war pony and bear. And in most tribes those animals are considered animals of strength. Sacred animal totems. Animals we look towards and pray for their strength. And on top of these little circles are little squiggly lines with the dots inside them. Those represent sweat lodges which are mainly used by the peoples of the North/North Plains Indian area, and you know that in itself is a healing, both spiritual and bodily healing, practice done by those people. And so, using those to represent antibodies, and the arrowhead to help protect the cell, this is what surrounds the cell, and the whole idea of spirituality, and what keeps us safe, both spiritually and when you compare it to what's actually happening inside the body with the cells constantly on alert, fighting any invader that that comes within reaches of the cell. I use that, and compared it to our spirituality, and where we ask for protection from our spirit animals. And so, you'll see that [in] Autoimmunity I use the same thing: these animal totems are actually attacking one another. And so that's how I depicted autoimmunity. And, I made another painting that we will see here down the line. This one was made specifically for Laguna Pueblo. >>“Phytoremediation and Air Particulates”. 16 by 20 inches, Acrylic on MDF board, 2018. Background of adobe homes and landscape. This painting portrays the resilience of desert life and the ways in which the people have endured beside environmental hazards such as mining. The flowers at the bottom represent the idea of phytoremediation as a way of filtering possible contaminates in the water. The use of Laguna pottery designs represents life while the zig-zag represents the physical and spiritual barriers that protect our land and bodies from harm. They have a lot more taboos on what we can and cannot show,  but I did, I wanted to do something on air particulates, and I did not want to paint lungs or anything going into the body so I used the representations of pottery designs, and also was able to use the idea of phytoremediation using pottery designs and how these people, the Laguna Pueblo, actually live right in and around one of the largest Jackpile mines there was. It's an open pit uranium mine. It used to be one of the largest in the world, but they do still live in the area. They're literally right there. Their homes sit within just feet of these pits, and so we've begun studies there, and this is the way I depicted air particulates. You know there's a separation talking about membrane in the lung, and how it is going through and affecting the lungs without using pictures of lungs, and using more symbology for the tribe. One of the bigger painting that kind of puts together everything we do here at CEHP was also done. >>“Healing Spirit”. 30 by 40 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2018 This painting signifies connectedness to the land, air, and water that tribes hold dear. Colors shift from bright gardens and rainbows to lifeless barren fields, represents the effects of pollution and mining on tribal lands. In the middle is a Crow woman who uses prayer, hope, and knowledge in STEM fields to “push-back” the achromatic and ailing earth. She uses her pre- Columbian language to send prayers to the ancestors, which are seen in the sage smoke she fans towards the aching lands. Designs that morph from petroglyphs are circuits representing the expansion of knowledge throughout Native Country, which includes both ancestral knowledge and those learned from University studies. Mountain silhouettes are, left to right, Dowa Yalanne (Zuni), Shiprock, Mount Taylor, and Monument Valley. A red line in the center is the heartline for the painting, the artist, and those affected by environmental damage. And this is kind of dedicated towards the people. When I speak inclusion, we really like to highlight some of our researchers who are from these communities. We have post-docs and many other students who are, you know, rising up in the ranks that are from the Navajo nation, from the different tribes in the Southwest. And you know their hearts and minds come from a different place than non-native researchers. We believe because this is, you know, as Native People our belief system tells us we are the custodians of the land, and we are here to protect mother earth as much as possible, so it is very… You could see the light shining in the eyes of our elders when we go to these meetings and we have researchers that are from these communities there also speaking with them and talking to them, and saying this is how they are living up to our core value as Native Americans. That we are involved in the fight. We are involved in the research as well. Here's another painting I did >>“Placental Transfer”. 16 by 20 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2019. A child is connected to earth and ancestors with a spiritual umbilical cord and sash belt. The belt represents traditional sashes worn by Navajo and Pueblo men, women and children. The woven belt in the image holds stories, chants and prayers. that also kind of goes both ways for how I wanted the community and the researchers to come together and have that understanding of how sacred things are to us, and why we as Native People have that stewardship of our lands. Because when a child is born, and this is true for both Pueblo and Navajo nation, is that when a child is born their dried umbilical cord is returned to the earth. They don't simply just throw it in the trash or get rid of it. We bury it in certain places, and these places remain sacred, and they tell us that we will forever be tied to the land. We will always be part of the earth. It is mother earth who will continue to sustain us, and so this I like to show as the reasons why the land means so much to us. And I’ll just keep going through some of these images. This one is the piece that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, procured last year >>“Our Flora”. 24 by 30 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2020. The stomach and small intestine are depicted in soft shades of purple and the large intestine in turquoise. Inside each part of the gut are diverse communities of bacteria and microbes. The processes and components of gut flora, bacterial bacilli and rods are depicted with round and quill beading. The loose and incomplete design on the bottom left of the large intestine becomes whole as it passes through a chain of oligosaccharides (prebiotics) right above it. Wabanaki flower patterns are present here as probiotic flora. and it was very exciting to do because this is one of an area where I had to do a lot more research than I did on the other paintings, not just because the tribes that this painting were geared towards were completely different from us here in the Southwest. The Wabanaki Confederacy in the Northeast coast, the People of the Dawn Lands, have a culture and have a completely different way of expressing themselves and seeing things. However, it is also visual, it is also through art, and so I use some of their designs -- their quill workings, their beading -- to represent the gut microbiome. And so, within the gut here you can see the beadwork working itself along and becoming tighter and more whole as it makes its way past probiotics. When they requested this, they wanted me to portray both prebiotics and probiotics, so you can see the chemical structure of probiotics from oligosaccharides here in the left corner of the colon. And so, this painting was then sent to MIT and, like I said, the research was not only on the symbology and the designs of the Dawn Land people, but also with the gut microbiome, which is being researched right now. So this is one way where both sides of research had to come together to create one painting. And this is the sketch that I originally had made, and this one now is housed at UNM and we display it at our offices here at UNM. >> "Gut Flora." 12 by 16 inches, 2020, Acrylic on canvas. Artwork similar to the Our Flora image, with a representation of stomach and intestinal system and native imagery. Slight differences include using shades of orange instead of purple and teal, and larger flowers as the flora in the large intestine. This is a painting that will be in a show this summer >> “Extraction & Remediation”, 16 by 20 inches, dip tic, Acrylic on Canvas, 2019. Painting represents the decades of mining on indigenous lands. A DNA strand forms the base, and a middle layer shows the land below the surface. The center part of this sandy layer is crowded with lines representing mines. Above the surface, grass grows and flowers bloom on the sides, but directly above the mines, yellow radiation-symbols rise into the air. with the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe and I believe there's a link I posted here in the end that will take you to that explanation. When we talk about inclusion we made sure that our METALS logo, which METALS stands for Metals Exposure and Toxicity Assessment on Tribal Lands in the Southwest, where we work with both Navajo Nation and Laguna Pueblo. >> METALS logo broken into pieces. Left side, done in black and orange, is a wing design found on Pueblo pottery. Down the center is a black DNA strand. To the right is a multi-level adobe in soft colors of blue and sand and a brown hogan. Below these three items is a light blue water/rain design. Running down the levels of the adobe is the Metals acronym. We wanted everything to be inclusive, so the logo itself uses Pueblo designs the colors and the hogan and adobe houses to symbolize the unification of the tribes and researchers with the DNA strand here down the middle. And all these colors represent both land and air and people. So there's other relatable imagery that I’ve created this painting. >> “A Mother’s Love”, 8 by 10 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2019. Mother and child are surrounded by flowers and corn, to represent growth, and a sunrise behind them represents beauty. Stars in the sky join stars in the bottom right, representing all living beings on earth as one. A wedding basket represents life and harmony. Actually was made for the Navajo Birth Cohort Study. Fun fact: it was on the NIH main website for about a month as a banner, which is pretty neat to see my art reaching just beyond our program. Other ways I turn my paintings into a conceptual model. Here on the left you can see that it's just you know a regular painting of a AG field: some waterways, some cattle grazing here, and the little adobe house but it's sitting amongst mine waste piles. And so, that we use this painting as our conceptual model for our METALS program. >> An Infographic uses the described art as a background, and details the cycle of exposure and community concerns You can see our different studies: our inhalation and ingestion with the human person sitting attending to his garden there, our community exposures, our waste redistribution of soil mineralogy, phytoremediation water transport is all represented here in this painting. I create other digitally made paintings as well >> Graphics on the slide include: An infographic with a fruit bearing plant as a background, Individual drawings of a garden and a blue-green river winding through mesas. A larger image is of four children, a baby, a very young girl with a doll, a young boy with a ball and a girl reading a book, in front of corn stalks. to add into some of our consent forms. These little children here are put in our ages and stages questionnaires with the Navajo Birth Cohort Studies. And so, just having relatable imagery is actually… I feel that it, and you can see it in tribal communities, that that inclusiveness, to be assured that this is for you, and it's meant to be inclusive of the community, and the community-based participatory research, is clearly presented here by making sure that a lot of the symbology, the ideas are for the people. And here you can see the different ages and stages while a child checkup points that we use in the Navajo Birth Cohort Study are in these posters. >> Art is used to create health road maps with space to customize a  schedule of visits, and what to expect from time of enrollment through 8 years of age. Recently, with this current pandemic, we've had to also reach out to communities about COVID, the vaccine. Right now this is the most recent painting I’ve done, and it's describing the MRNa vaccine using the spike protein to create the vaccine, and as I had mentioned before, using the idea of the immune system to represent what's going on, and how our bodies are learning the spike protein and how our bodies are using the fight once they become familiar. >> “MRNa Vaccine”, 12 by 24 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, 2021. To the bottom right a ring of life combines a Navajo wedding basket design and the Northern Plains Medicine Wheel in a circle. The edge of the ring is made of protruding arrowheads and circles filled with bear, war pony, and buffalo strength totems. Cells attached with sweat lodges surround the MRNa spike protein and fill with antibodies. A red triangle, representing the antibody, is now visible in the protection cells. The cell with the bear attacks the invading corona virus and prevents the virus from entering the circle. There's other COVID-19 response posters that I’ve created. Some PSAs were also done. These are posters that were hung in the community, and then these are posters that we gave out to individuals who were quarantining, and they did not want to use the hospital or the incident-command issued warning signs, which were just big, ugly red words saying “Quarantined, do not enter.” So we kind of beautified them and indigenized them >> Slide Images. Artistic door signs with relatable imagery and statements such as “Our Family Is Isolating, We will Be Together Soon,” “Respect Our Fight, We Are Not Accepting Visitors at This Time” and “Covid-19 Not Welcome Here, Please Respect Our Distancing at This Time”.  and we even put little areas where they could call instead and we put resources to the crisis lines, counseling lines. And this is with the behavioral health work working group that I work with currently. We've also created a video PSA with Native music in the background, and these all can be found at the AAIHB website and Facebook, Honoring Native Life. So many to go through. So here are some just some images of how we reach out to these communities. This is how we've gone and presented. We have info booths at the feasts, like in the Pueblos, we have the Red Water Pond Road Bill commemoration that we attend every year. Community meetings: we've created posters with the art explaining what's going on. And then we also have little outreach events >> Three colorful interactive carts. and further ideas on how we want to continue using art, and we want to try to see if we can add technology to this, like using touch pad displays where it'll be a little more interactive. A gaming system, like a native arcade, where you can get a little more education on what's going on in the research that we are doing. Here is a poster I created for one of the research days at UNM >> The Science is in the Heart: Visual Learning in Native Communities. Poster has samples of Mallery Quetawki’s art, and details including an Introduction. Works Created. Program Logo. Application. And Moving Forward. Here is some more information on our program. I will leave at this slide, but this is the work that we do, if there's any questions you can ask me and I’d be happy to answer. Thank you very much. [Moderator] Mallery thank you so much for that presentation. Just beautiful artwork. Lots of things to think about. I encourage folks to type your questions into the chat feature and, as we said, we are recording this presentation and it will be posted along with the slides, Mallery’s slides as well. So I’m not seeing any questions yet. Oh, here they come. Michael Barren asked “Have you tried to create any artwork depicting climate change?” [Mallery] Climate Change. Let's see. This one that I kind of skimmed over >> Slide 15, Healing Spirit kind of goes through climate change if.. I wish there was a way to blow this up a little bit.. but you can see that progression from older ways of life, you can see the waffle gardens in the background, all the flora and fauna just growing delightfully with the teepees, the adobes, the hogans, the rock art and then that rock art just kind of progresses into the circuit board designs. You can see the land getting barren, you see the climate up here - the rainbow going from being so colorful to almost a black and white - and the mountains being really crispy, obvious landmarks in our lands, to seeing the oil rigs and the polluters of the land. It's kind of… It's a lot of symbology in this painting. It's a fairly large painting, so when you see it in person you can start picking out the different things. But our main thing is like the way we're fighting back, like I said is by using technology, by using the people that are now researchers in their own right, and also going back into our traditional ways. Like I said the agricultural ways of our ancestors and both spirituality and our language revitalization programs as well. And this is kind of the only painting I’ve ever really touched upon that but I definitely will consider that that is actually an important topic. Thank you. [Moderator] Chris Klein commented “Really great presentation, thanks. Beautiful and meaningful art,” and also gave her some ideas on how to perhaps incorporate art and artists into her project. So, thanks from her. I have a question for you Mallery. I feel like sometimes, I kind of term it the eggshell relationship, with some of the connections I have with the Trustee Council on Uranium Research, and I never quite know how to approach even seeing if there's interest from the tribal community, and I was just wondering do you have any tips, or advice for those of us that are not of Native American descent that might want to pursue this? How would we even go about that? [Mallery] I think the best format that has worked with the tribal communities is the community-based research because when the community is leading this effort they feel more inclusive, and they have that sense of ownership of the research. So like what we are doing in Laguna Pueblo, because to be honest with the hardest tribe to kind of reach out to, they are very conservative in their ways and several attempts have been made in the past, and once they heard biological genetics, those key terms, you know, they were they pushed back and they weren't interested. But the further we went down the line, and the more health adverse health effects that were starting to surface in the community, they themselves reached out, and we presented them with the idea that the community will lead the research. They will be the ones to tell us what parts of the land, what parts of the community, they feel need to be looked at. And they've been actually participating in the collection back. Also when the researchers go and they do sampling on the dirt or the rocks in and around the Jackpile mines, community members are invited to come see this happen. They are there. They're actually also you know gathering these samples, so the community-based participatory research has been fruitful for us, and the idea that you also make sure that there is some form of liaison ship. That there is a community member who is there, who probably understands the science, and as well as the community cultural values, as well the language, to be that that medium in between both the researcher and the community, that is very important because I feel that, like we, said that some of this information cannot be broken down into the language. It has to be broken down further, and in order for us to do that we have to have somebody knowledgeable as well within the science. So, to have someone like that on your team would be very beneficial. It helps segue the language and flatten some of the fears that that these communities have, and I think that that would be your best bet. [Moderator] Great insights. Thank you we have another question and a comment. I'll read the comments first from Veronica Varella: “Really enjoyed the presentation. Opened my eyes to the importance of learning the local ways of communication, and things to avoid before trying to communicate. Enjoyed learning about the symbolism of your artwork.” Jeff Stevens asks “What do you think are the main barriers in the science technical community adopting art into communication to the public, and how do you think we can overcome those barriers?” [Mallery] I believe the main barrier is because, and this is just from experience, and I believe Joe, you had asked me this question also in the past, is “Oh, who else is doing this? Is there is there a cohort of you guys that are creating artwork for these people or these places, these underrepresented areas?” and it's actually few far, and I think that has been a barrier because there was a point in time where I felt I was stretched so thin trying to make sure that this group was represented, that group had we addressed an issue or a pathway for them, and I believe that there's very far and few artists out there who also have that education in science. This is something I just can't teach. I remember I didn't have the words for it when this question was asked of me at a previous presentation, but my director, I believe she said, send one of your artists to school. Send them to get a science degree. Send then to learn these things because some of these pathways cannot be learned overnight, and that's a unique skill that I bring to the table in the program that I work with, not only is my education focused on biology and pre-medicine, but I also have worked hands-on in the medical field as a nurse tech, and so the patient care portion is there also with my expertise, and so just using that idea and also being a member of the community that I come from--the Southwest--as I said it's rare to find that trifecta, as my colleagues would call it, because my community that I come from I’m actually a very traditional person there. I’ve been labeled as one of those keepers of traditional knowledge, and so it's something that had to have to happen throughout a lifetime, versus being able to teach this and I’m so willing to teach this this way of communication, but the barrier is that I have so many artists surrounding me, but the understanding of the science behind a lot of these issues and the pathways that we want to represent is not there, or we have very knowledgeable native peoples, who are doctors, PhD's in the field, that are also having a hard time trying to portray these things. Whether it be through imagery, or just even coming up with the words and so that, to me, I’ve been trying to find others like me. I know of a few physicians that are artists, and you know their schedules are already busy, but you know maybe one day we can all come together and make this a discipline. Make this a form of communication that should be utilized in in academic institutions. So to me that's that. I need partnership. I need any people who could help me spread this even beyond, and as you can see that's why MIT has reached out. Other institutions have reached out. And I feel like there's gotta be a way to find more people to spread the love. [Moderator] We have one more question, and that that'll probably wrap up our time. But Kathy Patnode asks “How would you recommend finding and working with a local artist that don't have the science background?” So, how, I mean you obviously know how people found you, but any recommendations to this group that they're interested in going down that path? [Mallery] I think the best bet for local artists are the ones who incorporate cultural values, ideas, and symbolism, who are knowledgeable about the local language and the culture. The most beneficial, because that there is also your community liaison just in itself. Adding the artwork part to it is a plus. I feel like, if there are mock-ups of like infographics that are already out there, we found out that there is a way to indigenize something. And sometimes I don't like to copy straight from textbooks, but if that has to be done, as long as there's that understanding of how like part of the scientific function or pathways methodologies are presented, I think that, and we've coined that term to a lot of the things we've done, especially with the COVID outreach. Like we've basically just taken what CDC has created, and quote unquote indigenized what they've created, and it's gotten more reception from the tribes. So, I feel that as long as this person is knowledgeable on tribal protocols, both culturally and within what's allowed within their society, you could, you know, start from there and work with let's say an indigenous person, who is involved in the sciences, the health, or the medicine of what you are doing and I think that that would be a perfect combination to start. [Moderator] Excellent! Mallery, I would just like to once more thank you for your time and your willingness to present today, and thank you for the beautiful artwork that you have created and will create in the future. Everyone, Mallery's contact information is there, but if you aren't able to grab it, please contact me and we'll make sure that we get you in contact with her. So, thank you once again, Mallery. [Mallery] Thank you for having me. Links to program and it’s affiliates : Johnnye L. Lewis, Ph.D-Director, Community Environmental Health Program and METALS SRP-UNM College of Pharmacy. Melissa Gonzales, Ph.D-Director, Environmental Health Core of the NM CARES Health Disparities Center at the UNM Health Sciences Center. Chris Shuey, MPH-Director, Uranium Impact Assessment. Southwest Research and Information Center. email: Native EH Equity/METALS- Publications: National Institutes of Health-PEPH Newsletter June 2018. Quetawki, Mallery. "Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Art as Scientific Translation for Native American Communities Affected by Abandoned Uranium Mines." Sustain. Spring/Summer 2019, 40: pp. 33-37. Quetawki, Mallery. “Artist's Statement: DNA.” Academic Medicine. January 2020, 95(1), 69. Mallery Quetawki Artist Info: Instagram: M.Quetawki.Art Email: