Dr. Kristen Jacklin, Associate Director of the Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team, is driven to addressing the challenges of indigenous dementia through community-based approaches.

"Dementia seems to be an appropriate subject. The data are limited," Jacklin said in an interview with the Duluth News Tribune. "But, what has emerged from studies in the U.S., Canada, and Australia suggest higher rates of dementia among indigenous populations than in the general population. The onset of dementia averages ten years sooner among indigenous people, and the prevalence of dementia is increasing at a greater rate among them."

With a recent grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), her two-year project, entitled, Indigenous Cultural Understandings of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias - Research and Engagement (I-CARE), will support community engagement and pilot research to develop a robust program focused on improving the lives of Indigenous persons with dementia and their families.

"The point is not just to do research but to produce action," Jacklin added. "In Canada, the research has produced a set of six indigenous dementia fact sheets. Communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin have been asking for something similar here."