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Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy received a $3.5 million donation from a Denmark-based pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk Inc.

The money will go toward the center’s Indigenous Foodways and Health Initiative, supporting language revitalization and access to traditional foods.

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“After 20 years of working in public health with Native American communities, I have found that initiatives that support and strengthen cultural practices and traditions are the
most effective strategies for promoting health,” said Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the director of the Center for Indigenous Health Research and Policy. “Gifts like this one from Novo Nordisk support Native peoples to implement programs of greatest priority to them, which are culturally centered and use indigenous research methods.”

Novo Nordisk Inc. is a healthcare company leading initiatives to prevent and treat chronic illness—including diabetes and obesity— around the world.

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