News & Events


May 19, 2015

Māhina International Indigenous Health Research Training Program

Mahina-logoColorCCI Raro I te Atarau Karohibohi: E Whakatere
Haera Ana Nga Waka I Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa (Māori)

“By the shimmering light of the Moon: Sea vessels are navigating the shared waters and knowledges of the Pacific Ocean”

Māhina is a partnership among the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) at the University of Washington (UW, principal investigators Karina Walters, Tessa Evans-Campbell, Bonnie Duran), Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (principal investigator Joseph Keaweaimoku Kaholokula), and Te Whare Kura and the Department for Māori Health at the University of Auckland in New Zealand (principal investigators Papaarangi Reid, Melani Anae, Brad Coombes, Tracey McIntosh).  Māhina is a five-year project funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, T37MD008625-01.

Māhina aims develop a cadre of indigenous undergraduate and graduate students dedicated to entering into biomedical or public health or behavioral science health research careers with indigenous populations through an international 12-week health research training program.

Trainees receive mentorship by working with senior level and emerging indigenous scholars (Māori, Pacific, AI/AN) who are committed to developing the health research careers of Indigenous students. Mentors offer training in: (1) innovative, culturally-grounded theory and models; (2) culturally-derived and community-based applied research; (3) innovative methodologies; (4) culturally-based measurement development emphasizing cultural protective factors; (5) training in cultural adaptation of health interventions among Indigenous populations; and (6) addressing co-occurring issues related to physical and mental health, substance use, and traumatic stress.

With support of their mentors, and the completion of their course and fieldwork in New Zealand, trainees conclude their training by creating a digital story to showcase their learning and publicly declare their commitment to the health of Indigenous communities. Trainees will begin their program on June 15, 2015 and will complete the program by August 20, 2015.

Our UW Trainees: Four trainees from the UW were selected from a very competitive batch of applicants to go to New Zealand.

Solana Rollolazo- Māhina Trainee

Solana Rollolazo- Māhina Trainee

Solana Rollolazo is a Filipino/Alaskan Native (Haida) third-year student at the UW pursuing her B.A. in Medical Anthropology and Global Health with a focus on Pacific Islander studies and a minor in Diversity. Her involvement in the Pacific Islander community through UW’s Polynesian Student Alliance, Tahitian dance troupe Te Fare O Tamatoa, and her cultural explorations in French Polynesia have contributed greatly to her commitment to and passion for addressing indigenous health and wellbeing. Solana is investing her personal and academic endeavors in researching the current use of traditional medicine and practices in Oceania and the role they play in cultural retention and revitalization.




Mahina-Rachael Tamngin

Rachael Tamngin- Māhina Trainee

Rachael Tamngin is of Yapese and American background and is a third-year student studying Physiology and Medical Anthropology. Rachael is actively engaged with the Pacific Islander (PI) community by encouraging PI youth to pursue higher education. Her deep engagement in this area has furthered her commitment to pursue a career in the medical field, where she hopes to work with the PI community and improve health care in Oceania. Rachael is also a skilled dancer and singer.

Mahina-Epiphany Nick

Epiphany Nick – Māhina Trainee

Epiphany Lototele Nick’s roots are in Samoa and South Carolina. While studying American Ethnic Studies and Biology at UW, her commitment to serve the community brought her to IWRI, as she wanted to learn more about the magnitude to which health/healthcare disparities disproportionately affect Indigenous and Black communities. As a result, Epiphany realized that her dream is to become a pediatrician. As a Māhina trainee, Epiphany intends to develop her own indigenous lens, allowing her to pursue research with respect to cultural beliefs and attitudes. She is most interested in the effects of historical trauma and research methodologies that address the uses of plant-based traditional medicine.



Mahina-Stephanie Reidl

Stephanie Reidl- Māhina Trainee

Stephanie Riedl (Sts’ailes/Musqueam, First Nations), will be receiving a B.A. in American Indian Studies from the UW with a minor in Diversity Studies. Stephanie has worked in urban schools to implement peer-to-peer crisis intervention education. She has also worked with Neah Bay youth (Makah Tribe) to facilitate digital storytelling projects through the UW Pipeline Program. Stephanie’s research and practice interests include strengthening channels of mental health support for indigenous young people, with an emphasis on youth empowerment, social justice and indigenous resurgence.




Meet the Māhina cohorts! Wednesday, May 27, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the IWRI Commons, north end of the second floor, School of Social Work, UW Seattle Campus