“I have a dream, I see strong healthy tribal nations, living out their full potential, pursuing their wellness and walking in balance,” says Kim. She has dedicated her life’s work to helping people with their wellness in some aspect or another.
Kim is an Ojibwe or Chippewa, who studied and worked in community health, complementary health and alternative medicine before coming to work for the Quitlline at National Jewish Health.
“One of my elders and medicine friends described working with medicine and gathering medicine as being a helper,” she says. “In this same notion, I am here as your helper, to help you be commercial tobacco free.”
Kim wants you to know, “you are medicine, your life is sacred — you have gifts and talents to serve others and to live the good life our Creator intended for you.”
“I did not want my daughters to watch me die from using tobacco, when I could do something about my addiction,” says Marie.
Marie is an American Indian Tobacco Cessation Coach with the Quitline at National Jewish Health.
She is Northern Arapaho from the Wind River Indian Reservation in Ethete, Wyoming. Her great-great-great Grandfather was Chief Sharpnose. The tribe still sings his songs.
Marie is dedicated to the AICTP because she believes the program can help her American Indian people stop using commercial tobacco.
When participants talk about their addictions, “I understand and I get it," she says. “I know only too well, firsthand, the addiction of using commercial tobacco.” After smoking for more than 35 years, Marie quit after she watched the devastation that tobacco use caused the families she was working with at the Emphysema Center at National Jewish Health.
"I had only worked there for two weeks — when I knew I had to quit,” she says. “Within two weeks, I quit smoking cigarettes, and I never looked back.”
Marie has been a nonsmoker ever since. She knows it is very hard to quit. “I understand the challenges my people face.”
“Throughout my years, in the work force, I have worked for various Native American organizations, and working at the Quitline is a way I can still give back. I hope to talk with you soon! I will help you through your quit journey.”
“It takes courage and strength to start a journey of change to quit smoking commercial tobacco,” Betty says. “But I am here to support and encourage you along the way! And, there are other American Indian people here at the Quitline that can help you too!”
Betty is from the Mvskoke (Creek) nation of Oklahoma. She is member of the Fuswv (Bird) clan. She worked in her community for more than five years specializing in the fields of youth and domestic violence before coming to work at the Quitline. Betty brings her understanding of behavior change and motivational interviewing to the Quitline at National Jewish Health.
“I know firsthand how difficult it can be to change a habit, which is why I am happy to be a part of the American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program,” she says. “I want to help you on your journey. I will listen and understand, and help you wherever you are in your journey. Whether you are just starting out, or have had a relapse. We’ve all been there. I look forward to speaking with you soon.”