July 29th, 2010
Indian Country Today writes about the ancillary benefits of tribes and Indians working with other groups, that have interests other than regular Indian law issues.
In this article, the paper shows how working with groups on diabetes prevention has led tribes may to see additional positive changes from the work done by tribal funding recipients.
The grantees’ innovative projects – including gardens, farmers markets, gathering camps, storytelling sessions and traditional-food cooking classes – that have gone far beyond just improving health in the narrow sense of the word. The activities have had a ripple effect in many aspects of the 17 communities who received grants.
Many native groups and organizations that have functioned separately are meeting and working together for the first time.
In July, Lewis & Clark College held a conference that demonstrated perfectly this idea. Columbia Riverkeepers and other groups held a day long conference to examine how they can work with American Indian tribes to reach common goals.
For further example, check out the program administered through the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) that started with the premise that traditional foods from the land and water around you are healthier than processed foods and store-bought items.
Check this out from Fort Yates, N.D.: Transforming livelihoods and lives
no longer has to mean a bad diet and bad health on the Standing Rock Reservation. The ways the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Diabetes Program is breaking the link between poverty and illness can be enumerated: the program’s CDC grant supports a reservation-wide gardens project that grew from 120 household plots last year to 150-plus this year; elders take children onto the prairie to learn gathering skills, along with Lakota language; seed saving preserves crops that have proved their mettle in the harsh Northern Plains environment; giveaways provide elders with fresh produce; plant-medicine making supports traditional knowledge; the weekly Fort Yates farmers market spurs the local economy by welcoming fruit and vegetable vendors, along with sellers of dried meat, wild edibles, baked goods, and arts and crafts.