White Earth Reservation is located in northwestern Minnesota and encompasses all of Mahnomen County, the northern half of Becker County and a small southwest corner of Clearwater County, spanning a total of 1300 square miles. The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe-White Earth Band (White Earth Reservation) is a federally recognized Reservation and is positioned in the Indian Health Service’s Bemidji service area. The total White Earth Tribal membership is approximately 19,400 individuals nationwide with an overall reported on-reservation population of 9,726 (including non-tribal members & White Earth Reservation members) of this total 4,343 individuals are American Indian (2020 Census). This rural and isolated reservation is one of the poorest areas in the state of Minnesota. Poverty and its related outcomes are considered to be high contributing factors influencing insubstantial health habits resulting in poor health consequences.
The data available through White Earth Indian Health Services states there are 817 diagnosed cases of diabetes on the White Earth Reservation which translates to 10.3% of the total American Indian population. In conclusion to this information, the need for comprehensive education, programming and services is at a critical level for the people of the White Earth Reservation.
This project proposes to continue on the path which has been created through previous years of implementation and dedication while looking forward to the future to address the health and wellbeing of the members of the White Earth Reservation. A collaborative effort from the White Earth Reservation Tribal Chairman, Tribal Council, White Earth Tribal Health Director, and additional supervisory staff signify the White Earth Reservation has made a commitment to addressing the dire consequences of diabetes for our people with a proactive and systemic approach.
Education and the gathering of knowledge is embraced by the White Earth Reservation. This application looks to continue, expand, and enhance our current diabetes foot clinics and educational efforts including a special concentration on diabetes education and the need to understand vascular status. Additionally, diabetes education will expand the focus to include teaching the benefits of physical activity and eating nutritious foods and to incorporate a holistic approach to knowledge on diabetes prevention. Tribal infrastructure and services are currently in place to support the full development of comprehensive foot examination clinics and diabetes educational programming. The White Earth Reservation has made it our goal to educate all program participants of the White Earth Tribal Diabetes Program to include diabetes education including vascular status, understanding the need for foot examination, nutrition, and physical health. The White Earth Reservation will incorporate a no wrong door approach to diabetes education. With this approach the White Earth Reservation members can receive education anywhere they access Public Health services, including but not limited to health fairs, classrooms, foot care clinics, WIC services and fitness centers. The goal is to cover the White Earth Reservation in positive messages of diabetes nutrition and physical education so regardless of where members go, they are reminded of the importance of health and wellness. This constructive reinforcement is significant moving toward the outcome of positively changing community behaviors and the reduction of poor health consequences which have increased diabetes to epidemic levels.
Supporting the diabetes education efforts of the White Earth Tribal Diabetes Program includes the continuation of the Mobile Clinic with Dr. Ung, Podiatrist/Surgeon who visits the White Earth Reservation members monthly. Dr. Ung has saved the lives and limbs of people of the White Earth Reservation resulting from his intervention and prevention efforts. Dr. Ung is joined with additional professionals to construct the Diab