Kris Rhodes is the director of the American Indian Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Native communities through improved cancer prevention, early detection and access to quality cancer care. She is an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. She was born and raised on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Northern Minnesota. Ms. Rhodes has Master of Public Health degree in Public Health Administration & Policy and a Bachelor degree in Community Health Education both from the University of Minnesota. Over the past two decades, Kris has worked in improving the health of American Indian communities. She has been involved in community-based research on topics such as, breastfeeding promotion, ear infections, teen pregnancy prevention, but is most deeply involved in and passionate about tobacco issues in American Indian populations. Within this role, she directly supported the development and evaluation of activities related to these efforts, including education and promotion of cultural tobacco use, documenting prevalence rates among youth and adults, youth prevention programs, policies, smoking cessation and community events.
Joy Rivera does outreach in the Twin Cities indigenous community as the colon cancer screening navigator of the American Indian Cancer Foundation. In this work, she can tell you and anyone who will listen what to do to prevent colon cancer. She belongs to the Snipe Clan of the Seneca Nation Haudenosaunee People. She has more than 30 years teaching experience in the Indigenous community at the junior high, senior high and adult levels of education. Joy taught at both the late Heart of the Earth Survival School and the Red School House. For the past 17 years, she coordinated the nationally-recognizedOgitchidag Gikinooamaagad Peer Education Program that traveled throughout Indian County teaching other Indigenous youth about health-related topics through live theater. This program developed and implemented its own culturally-specific peer education curriculum to Indigenous youth grades 7-12.