November 2021: Issue 11
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Wyoming Health Council contributes to health and well-being for all, where we grow, live, learn, work and play.
Native American History Month
November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges!

President Biden proclaimed October 11th as Indigenous Peoples' Day and made another proclamation for November as National Native American Month (although President George Bush first designated it as such in 1990)!

Representation and advocacy matters and in 2021 Deb Haaland, a member of New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo, became the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. History. Media has also been on the uptick with two comedies on TV right now about Native Americans, by Native Americans.

Check out this news clip on Reservation Dogs
Rutherford Falls
Reproductive and Sexual Health Care for Native Youth
A focus on acknowledging and supporting Native Americans culture and health is growing as well with some amazing websites available for Native American youth, their families and educators that cover a wide range of health topics, such as reproductive and sexual health, healthy relationships, mental health and more.
“Culture is engrained in everything that we do, from how we engage, learn, and process information. In order to best serve our Native youth, we must share our experience and the science behind culture as prevention so that our Relatives and allies can best support the health of our Native youth.” Healthy Native Youth
___No-Shave November____
“No-Shave November seeks to grow awareness — not to mention hair-ness — about cancer. The organizers want people to embrace their hair, which many cancer patients lose, and to let it grow — as the holiday’s originators say — “wild and free.” No-Shave November is a fun and creative way to remind folks that many of our friends and neighbors struggle every day with the disease and with efforts to fight it. Moreover, organizers also encourage participants to donate the money they’d normally spend on hair care to cancer support and educational organizations."

No-Shave November was created in 2009, two years after the passing of Matthew Hill who struggled with colorectal cancer during the month of November in 2007. He and his family had already adopted the practice of not shaving during the month of November and donating the expenses typically used on razors and shaving cream to charities that support research into illnesses such as prostate, testicular, and colorectal cancer among others.
Raise even more awareness with MOVEMBER!
The Movember movement started in Australia in November 2003. Using facial hair to create awareness, like No-Shave November, Movember raises awareness and funds for men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostrate cancer and testicular cancer! You can fundraise during November or donate monthly to Movember.
Transgender Awareness Week
Nov 13-19
Transgender Awareness Week is a week when transgender people and their allies take action to bring attention to the community by educating the public about who transgender people are, sharing stories and experiences, and advancing advocacy around the issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community.

The Transgender community and its allies celebrate that Transgender representation is continuing to increase in the media with figures such as Laverne Cox, Elliot Fletcher and Elliot Page and shows like POSE, Euphoria, Sex Education and the documentary Disclosure. The political sphere has also seen the confirmation of Dr. Rachel Levine as well as other political representatives such as Delaware state senator Sarah McBride and Kansas state representative Stephanie Byers!

Despite these positive steps forwards, many in the Transgender Community and their families have continued to face discrimination and violence. 2021 saw a record number of anti-trans legislation. Thirty-three states have introduced over 100 bills aiming to curb the rights of transgender peoples. Bans on participation in same-gender youth sports, bans on gender-affirming health care for minors and threats towards their families and medical providers who would support and help provide it, and bans on curriculum discussing gender identity and restrictions on ID cards and other forms of identification. 

What can we do? Transgender persons and allies can help support the community by first and foremost showing respect, using correct pronouns and listening! Write your states representatives in support of trans youth in sports and curriculum and medical health care.

Healthcare clinics can provide trainings for their staff and make a commitment to providing transgender friendly services! Rooms in the clinics can be welcoming to all genders and educational materials provided can be inclusive, as well as intake forms! Title X is always striving to provide reproductive and sexual healthcare to everyone. In fact, the Reproductive Healthcare of the Big Horns clinic, located in Sheridan Wyoming is now providing hormone therapy with other clinics looking into the option as well!
Training Resources:
Thanks Birth Control!
~Nov 17~
People have attempted to prevent pregnancy for centuries! Ancient societies around 3000 BCE used animal and fish bladders or intestine and linen sheaths as condoms. Around 1850 BCE Egyptians utilized crocodile dung and fermented dough as a spermicide, and between 1619-1870, Black women drew upon African remedies to create medicines to prevent pregnancy.

In the 18th century, condoms made of linen treated with chemicals or skin (bladder or intestine treated with chemicals) were used, but because they were expensive, they were mostly used by the middle and upper class. In 1855, the first rubber condoms, created by Charles Nelson Goodyear, were mass produced in the US, “2 millimeters thick and with a lengthwise seam, they were washed after use, greased with Vaseline and stored in a small wooden box until the next time.”

Despite the desire of individuals to limit pregnancies and disease, distribution of condoms in the United States was limited by the passage of the Comstock Act in 1873, which prohibited the mailing of contraceptives and contraceptive information, as well banning the manufacture and sale of condoms in 30 states.

A nurse named Margaret Sanger, the founder of the American Birth Control League and forerunner of Planned Parenthood, coined the term “birth control” in 1914 and opened the first birth control clinic in the United States in Brownsville, Brooklyn in 1916. Prior to the development of the first oral contraceptive, common techniques used as “birth control” were the use of the condom, contraceptive douche, cervical diaphragm, withdrawal or the rhythm method. Margaret Sanger was arrested several times for her work with birth control clinics, but was finally able to open a clinic staffed by female doctors in 1923, as the courts had ruled that physicians could prescribe contraceptives to women for medical reasons. Sangers’ history is complicated by her support of the eugenics movement, which she aligned with in order to further her pursuit of legalizing birth control.
It’s difficult to believe in a time when there was no birth control pill, let alone many other forms of birth control, such as the Depo shot or IUD, that are widely used today. The Birth Control pill was in fact only developed in 1950’s! In 1953 John Rock and Gregory Pincus developed the first birth control pill with the financial backing of Katharine McCormick, a longtime friend of Margaret Sanger. State laws continued to make research on contraceptives difficult, so much of their research and trials were done on poor women in Puerto Rico, which saw its own ethical dilemmas.

1960 finally saw the first oral contraceptive, Enovid, approved by the FDA, which quickly became known as “the pill.” Even with this breakthrough, the use of contraceptives was still heavily regulated. In 1965, the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that only married couples had the right to birth control, denying millions of unmarried women.

 It wasn’t until 1972, that the Supreme Court in Eisenstadt v. Baird legalized birth control for unmarried people and 1978 in Carey v. Population Services, that it became law that states cannot constitutionally place any restrictions on the advertisement, sale and distribution of contraceptives to individuals of any age!

Today 99% of women in the United States have used birth control. It has allowed people to plan for a family on their own terms and gives them the power to decide their own destinies. Thanks Birth Control!
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