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Ed Smith

Research Project Coordinator

Master of Arts, Indigenous Studies, University of Kansas, 2013
Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Missouri, 2001

I am a descendant of the Osage tribe and grew up in the urban Indian community around St. Louis, Missouri. My upbringing has given me the opportunity to experience first-hand some of the issues that affect urban Indian people today. I have had close working relationships with American Indian communities in Kansas and Missouri for over 15 years. My experiences have been primarily with the four tribes in Kansas, the urban Indian communities in Kansas City, Topeka, St. Louis, and Wichita. Through my work at the Center for American Indian Studies (CAIS), I have been able to add working with American Indian communities in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and South Dakota to the list.

The scope of my work has focused on projects related to health advocacy, youth empowerment, improving educational opportunities for American Indian people, food sovereignty, and increasing the overall health of American Indian communities across the United States. At CAIS, I serve as a Research Project Coordinator. I began working at JCCC as the Site Manager and as a group facilitator for the All Nations Breath of Life Smoking Cessation Program. I eventually became the lead facilitator for that project and later took over as manager for the entire project.

In addition to those duties, I also work on community outreach efforts for CAIS. I have been trained in community-based participatory research methods and use those practices in developing programs and culturally tailored interventions when working with community partners. This allows me to have face-to-face relationships with community members and partner organizations.