NATIVE HEALTH proposes to implement a program that will infuse cultural traditions to build resiliency and connections to the community and culture to improve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and wellbeing. Implementation of activities across generations, activities to infuse indigenous diets, and activities to increase cultural and social connectedness will support this initiative.
NATIVE HEALTH seeks to reconnect the urban American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) target population to their ancestral source of well-being and balance, intergenerational interaction and traditionally based activities will serve as a reminder of that ancestral connection. For many AIAN, health and systems for healing go beyond what can be found in the clinical setting as this program will seek to establish with infused traditional food sources and a return to physical activity. Healing mechanisms are through the ways of life that have power and resonate with the community today in foods grown locally and culturally themed activities in the community.
NATIVE HEALTH will employ strategies and outcomes to realize: Increased intergenerational interactions with a positive impact on wellbeing. This strategy will engage families in various culturally based activities that when infused in a talking circle platform will provide opportunities for intergenerational connections. To further increase social connectedness NATIVE HEALTH will implement an Indigenous Book Club targeted to urban indigenous youth. The youth will be engaged in culturally themed stories, be provided an opportunity to share their indigenous experiences.
Increased inclusion of traditional foods in diets. This strategy will involve families harvesting and utilizing foods grown in the NATIVE HEALTH Traditional Garden. This element will also include interactive workshops provided by a Master Gardener, indigenous field experts, and a Tribal grantee. Through this activity it is anticipated that ten families will participate in garden workshops, harvest, and utilize foods from the traditional garden and will infuse these foods in their daily diets. In each project year, Indigenous food boxes will be distributed to all participants and will be the culmination of the garden workshops.