Indigenous End of Life Symposium

Editor’s Note: End of Life Options New Mexico (EOLONM) is pleased to invite you to join The Completed Life Initiative for their upcoming Indigenous End of Life Symposium on March 21, 2024. The event is virtual and free. Please scroll down to find the link to register. For additional information, please visit the Completed Life Initiative here

PLEASE NOTE: Posts and comments on EOLONM’s Blog are the views of the respective writers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of End of Life Options New Mexico, its board, or volunteers.

The Completed Life Initiative

Indigenous End of Life Symposium

Thursday, March 21st
for a FREE global event
Hosted virtually

Please join the Completed Life Initiative for a day of virtual Listening and Talking events on March 21st. The four Listening Events will feature a broadcast of over 10 Indigenous and Aboriginal individual speakers from three continents. The four Talking Events will provide an opportunity to connect with event speakers and fellow attendees.

The Completed Life InitiativeThe Indigenous End of Life Symposium aims to elevate and amplify Indigenous and Aboriginal end-of-life experiences from around the world.

Indigenous and Aboriginal communities are as diverse as they are numerous. This Symposium offers a platform for individual speakers from these communities to offer direct narratives about traditional dying ritual practices. 

Our speakers will also reflect on how we can ensure that Indigenous communities, nations, and territories worldwide receive the recognition they deserve, especially in crucial areas like end-of-life healthcare. Additionally, they will share the challenges and opportunities they face as they interact with health systems and key elders and advisors in their communities.

Join us for a day of virtual Talking and Listening events, featuring Indigenous and Aboriginal individuals from Canada to South America, the United States to Australia.

Featured Speakers

Hannah Throssell

Hannah Throssell is an enrolled member of the Tohono O’odham Nation with strong familial ties to the Navajo Nation. She has worked in Community Health Work within Urban Indigenous populations and she is deeply committed to community advocacy and activism.

Dr. Alexander Kmet

Dr. Alex Kmet is a member of the Metis Nation of Alberta and doctor practicing rural and remote medicine in Yukon, Canada. In addition to his work as a specialist palliative care physician, he provides chemotherapy and cancer care along with anesthesia services in the operating room.

Jennifer Mallmes

Jennifer Mallmes has spent the last 20+ years as a caregiver and an advocate for quality end-of-life care in Canada. She is the co-founder of the End of Life Doula Association of Canada, the creator and an instructor of the End of Life Doula program and Indigenous End of Lifer Guide program at Douglas College.

Poem Swentzell, LMSW, LMT

Poem Swentzell is a member of Santa Clara Pueblo in northern New Mexico. She is both a hospice social worker and a massage therapist with over 30 years experience. She presented at the NASW-NM 2017 Conference on her work with Indigenous people and death and dying. She currently works with seniors at Santa Clara Pueblo and continues to support people with end of life issues.

Dr. Poki’i Balaz

Dr. Kealohaku’ualohaku’upoki’i “Poki’i” Balaz is a Public Health Executive Leader and a Native Hawaiian who has seen firsthand how a cultural approach to caregiving improves health outcomes for aging individuals – as well as how cultural values motivate the surrounding community to participate in a continuum of care.

Dr. Neera Bhatia

Dr. Neera Bhatia is an Associate Professor at Deakin Law School, Melbourne, Australia. She has published widely on contemporary issues in health law and bioethics and her research interests include end-of-life decision-making for critically ill infants and children, voluntary assisted dying, and the definition of death.

Learn More

Visit the web page at the Completed Life Initiative to learn more!

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