Tribal Chief Beverly Kiohawiton Cook
Beverly Kiohawiton Cook is serving her second term as elected Chief on the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council. For 40 years, Beverly has advocated for the rights of Native people in her community of Akwesasne.
Chief Cook, a Family Nurse Practitioner, is a prominent voice in the mind-body medicine approach to restoring wellness, reproductive health and environmental justice for Mohawk people. She has presented her signature lecture, “Resilience from our Roots: You are Creation,” to hundreds of community members as well as national and international audiences. The lecture weaves together Haudenosaunee traditions and beliefs with basic reproductive physiology, encouraging understanding of the responsibilities of men and women and an appreciation for the generational transmission of trauma through the generations.
In her previous role as Clinic Coordinator, Chief Cook led the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Health Services systems redesign. Her innovative approach, including patient-centered care, aligned with a national trend to address trauma as a root cause of adult illness. Her efforts resulted in the successful implementation of Trauma Incident Reduction and Adverse Childhood Experiences (or “ACE”) Predictive Consequences, the foundation of how healthcare workers encounter personal interactions when TIR is effectively applied.
Since her election to Tribal Council in 2013, Chief Cook has been selected by the United Southern and Eastern Tribes (USET) to represent the Nashville Area (which includes Akwesasne) on the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee and on the National Institutes of Health Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee. At home, she has been a valuable supporter of the Tribe’s Annual Child Safe Summit Series and championed the Akwesasne Child Advocacy Center that provides victim-centered care for abused children. In 2011, Chief Cook was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leader nominee.
Chief Cook continues to seek ways to restore and enhance the health and safety of Akwesashró:non. “Integrating our traditional ways of knowing back into our contemporary lives is important,” she notes. “The central fire that held everyone and everything together was nearly extinguished. These teachings and practices help gather that fire back up again.”
Chief Cook is active in traditional Indigenous practices and circles in her community of Akwesasne, where she lives on her ancestral home along the St. Lawrence River. When not busy with the many demands of a Tribal Chief, she spends her time with her friends and family, including three daughters, a son and her three grandchildren.(2016)
July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2016
July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019