Native Nations Nursing, Helpers, and Healers Summit

A presenter speaks at the Native Nations Nursing, Helpers, and Healers Summit.

Reclaiming Traditional Knowledge and Practices to Promote Healing and Wellness in Indigenous Communities

The Native Nations Nursing, Helpers, and Healers Summit focuses on education for the interprofessional team about evidence-based approaches for optimal, culturally congruent health care for Native American people and communities.

Summit speakers highlight best practices for holistic care, interprofessional collaboration, whole-person care, and culturally-specific trauma-informed care.

The event includes career advancement opportunities within nursing and continuing education for RNs, advanced practice nurses, physicians, psychologists, and social workers.

November 1, 2024

Medical College of Wisconsin, Global Health Department, Milwaukee, WI

Call for Proposals

Featured Speakers

Lea S. Denny, MS, LPC, NCC, NMT, Hawaiian & Filipino
“Decolonizing Mental Health: A healing informed path forward through CAM”

Lea S. DennyLea S. Denny, a globally renowned expert with a visionary and innovative perspective, is a National Board-Certified Licensed Counselor of Hawaiian and Filipino descent. Beyond her roles as a wife, mother of two, and valued community member, Denny holds the prestigious positions of Chief Executive Officer, Visionary, Founder, and Clinical Director at the HIR Wellness Institute. This institute is dedicated to pioneering advancements in addressing historical and intergenerational trauma through the provision of free mental health care and wellness services.

With an impressive track record of over 20 years in the mental health field, Denny has been at the forefront of transforming the way mental health services are delivered to Indigenous and underserved communities worldwide. Leading a diverse interdisciplinary team of 16 professionals and continuously expanding, she is actively shaping the narrative around decolonizing mental health. Denny’s groundbreaking Lea S. Denny CAM™ Framework™ and Mental Health Without Borders Approach™, along with her innovative CAMPsite™ model, have revolutionized access to mental health providers and support within community spaces.

Committed to workforce development, Denny has created a healing-informed organization that focuses on nurturing the next generation of helping providers through her CAM™ Advanced Placement Training site. Her involvement as a community researcher on historical trauma healing, particularly in projects such as the CDC Indigenous research initiative on healing Adverse Childhood Experiences and tackling issues like the opioid epidemic and healthy homes, showcases her dedication to making tangible impacts in the field.

In addition to her active roles in various local and national councils and committees, including noteworthy positions such as Committee Member of the Wisconsin State Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and honorary faculty member at the University of California Davis, Denny’s influence is felt globally. As an international speaker and trainer who has shared her expertise with over 10,000 individuals, she has graced prestigious events worldwide and been recognized for her contributions in health justice and mental health service delivery.

For further insights into the remarkable work of Lea S. Denny, visit her website.

Henning Garvin, RN, Ho-Chunk Nation
“Preserving Hoocak, Preserving Health”

Henning GarvinHųųwąxete (Henning Garvin) is a citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation. After graduating with his BS in linguistics from UW–Madison in 2003, he began working for the Ho-Chunk Nation, primarily in the Language Division. He has also held roles within the government including executive director, senior staff officer, and as an elected member of the Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature. In 2022, he returned to school at Western Technical College to pursue a degree in nursing. Since his graduation in 2023, he has been employed full-time as an emergency department RN at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in La Crosse, WI, as well as a PRN RN at Tomah Health, also in the Emergency Department. He is currently enrolled at UW–Madison pursuing his BSN and resides in Tomah, WI, with his wife and their 4 children.

Read Henning Garver’s profile in OnWisconsin magazine.

Jill Greendeer, Phd, MA, MS, Ho-Chunk Nation
“To Heal and Empower: Indigenous Voices”

Jill GreendeerAs a Hocak hinuk (woman), nani (mother), sister, and relative, Jill’s life purpose resides within the space of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and is part of the bridge between Indigenous communities, academia, holistic wellness, cultural traditional healing, and health care. Jill’s life work and lived experience have prepared her for this role. She has experience working in academic, corporate, and clinical settings both within Native American communities and in mainstream society. She has lived experience as an Indigenous woman in both urban and rural environments that add to her diverse worldview and give her a strong sense of grounded Indigenous voice to pursue her life purpose of helping to heal and empower Indigenous people.

Her experiences pursuing a PhD at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing as an Indigenous woman allowed her to develop a heightened awareness of systemic racism and oppression. She recognizes systemic racism and oppression are deeply embedded within health care and academia. Far too often, she sees non-Indigenous people benefit at Indigenous communities’ expense when they are rewarded as leaders and advocates of diversity and equity. They often publish research articles and misrepresent, misinterpret, and misguide their ‘findings’ within Indigenous communities with adverse impacts on Indigenous communities.

This experience gave her life purpose and call to action a deeper sense of need and urgency: the opportunity to stand her ground, speak her truth, share her Indigenous lived experience, and find comfort in uncomfortable spaces, conversations, and initiatives. We all have tremendous work to do and cannot accomplish this alone. I hope to continue to network with others who value diverse and Indigenous voices and perspectives. We can impact social climate change that will give life and acceptance to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Learn more about Jill Greendeer.

"Our goal is to make sure every participant at this event feels knowledgeable about interprofessional collaboration to address health disparities as well as increased confidence in their ability to provide culturally sensitive care to our Indigenous relatives."

Dr. Jeneile Luebke (Bad River), Assistant Professor, UW–Madison School of Nursing

Accreditation Statement
Jointly accredited provider with commendation: Interprofessional Continuing Education.


In support of improving patient care, the University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.