This Native American Heritage Month, we want to recognize the history of cooperation and collaboration between NIH and Tribal Nations. On his final day as NIH director – October 31, 2008 – Dr. Elias Zerhouni attended a meeting of the Director’s Council of Public Representatives (COPR). Formed in 1998 by former NIH Director Harold Varmus, COPR was composed of members of the public who gave insight on opportunities for public participation and outreach at NIH. During this meeting, committee member Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, Spirit Lake Dakota Nation member and president of Cankdeska Cikana Community College, gifted a star quilt to Dr. Zerhouni. She invited Lora M. Church, a Navajo committee member from the Bitterwater and Black Streak Wood Clan, to sing a song of blessing as Zerhouni stepped down.
From left to right: Lora M. Church, Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, and Dr. Raynard Kington, acting director following Zerhouni.