The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) is a federally recognized Tribe with 13,782 enrolled members with a resident population of 10,408. The Tribe’s reservation is the Lake Traverse Reservation established by Treaty in 1867 is situated in northeast South Dakota and southeast North Dakota. There are five counties on the SD side and two on the ND side that comprise the 107,200 acre reservation.
The Tribe has applied for the CDC Tribal Practices for Wellness in Indian Country grant program for a five year project at $116,627 per year. It will hire a Field Health Worker to work full time for the project and will employ a Traditional Consultant who will work with the project and the community on instituting the following:
CDC Strategy 2: Seasonal cultural and traditional practices that support health and wellness
CDC Strategy 5: Cultural teachings and practices about traditional healthy foods to promote health, sustenance, and sustainability
CDC Strategy 6: Traditional and contemporary physical activities that strengthen wellbeing
The purpose of the project is to implement Tribal practices that build resiliency and connections to community, family, and culture that will reduce risk factors for chronic disease. The long-term goals are to increase resilience and use of cultural practices to reduce morbidity/mortality due to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, and increase mental and emotional wellbeing among community members.
The SWO Traditional Wellness Project is the name of our project and is utilizing the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Program as a guide for our objectives. Our focus on obesity prevention, commercial tobacco use prevention, and prevention and control of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol through a traditional cultural program will ensure social and cultural connectedness for our Tribal members and/or target population. Members will also increase their consumption of healthy traditional foods and increase physical activity as they participate in the five year project.