An intimate journey: Walking into the Unknown

Minneapolis, Minnesota (NFIC) 3-09

The Human Services Division of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and several American Indian organizations at the University of Minnesota-Duluth will present the premiere screening of, “Walking into the Unknown,” a new documentary program that traces the intimate journey of a middle aged Indian male through the health care system, as he gains a deeper understanding of himself and the health risks he faces.

“Walking into the Unknown,” a 65 minute, health documentary directed by Nathan Maydole and featuring Arne Vainio, M.D. (both are UMD alumni), will premiere on Monday, March 23, 2009 at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Marshall Performing Arts Center at 7:00 PM. The premiere is free and open to the public.

The program is based on Dr. Arne Vainio’s 49th and 50th years of life, a critical turning point in the lives of many Indian males, where it is important to become sincerely educated on health risks to be able to develop and practice healthier lifestyles. The documentary, shown through the patient’s (Vainio) perspective, was created in an effort to further educate American Indian males on health care services and reduce resistance to necessary health screenings.

Special attention is focused on five main topics including: Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke, Suicide and Alcoholism. Each topic can be viewed independently or seen in the broader context of the whole program.

“Walking into the Unknown” will reduce resistance to accessing health care services and enable American Indian men to live longer, more fulfilling lives. This personal testimonial is an excellent educational tool and will be widely used in Indian Country to improve the health status of American Indian men.

Testimonials are drawn from community members who have experienced the premature loss of Indian men in their families. Basic but critical health care information is included throughout the program in an effort to deepen the understanding and awareness of Indian community members.

“Walking into the Unknown” was directed and edited by Nathan Maydole (50 Entertainment), incorporating many modern visual aspects into the program,            

Maydole’s approach is progressive, especially within the medical video realm.

You can view a preview of the film at in the Featured or LCOTV channels in the continuous loop or "On Demand" index.

For more information you can go On The Net:

American Indian Organizations Involved in Program:

The documentary was funded by the Fond du Lac Reservation and was partially supported through the Special Diabetes Grant from the Indian Health Service. The premier is sponsored by the Human Services Division of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s American Indian Learning Resource Center, American Indians in Science & Engineering Society, Anishinaabe Student Organization and the Center of American Indian and Minority Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

About Arne Vainio, M.D.:

Dr. Arne Vainio is a graduate from the University of Minnesota Medical School and currently an Ojibwe physician on the Fond du Lac Reservation. Throughout his career Dr. Vainio has presented at many top establishments, including Dartmouth Medical School, University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth, University of Wisconsin-Superior and at the College of St. Scholastica.

Along with practicing medicine, Dr. Vainio also publishes monthly Native American Health articles for Fond du Lac Ojibwe Tribal Newspaper, Mille Lacs Ojibwe Tribal Newspapers, Red Lake Nation Tribal Newspaper and National News From Indian Country Newspaper. In the last two years Dr. Vainio has received awards from the National Diabetes Physician’s Recognition Program and a recipient of the Early Distinguished Career Alumni Award from the Minnesota Medical Foundation.