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Shaping up for the future

Eating more home-cooked meals is part of this Oklahoma family’s plan to cut added sugars and introduce healthy foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables into their diets. Fresh fruit and yogurt have also replaced cake or cookies as dessert.
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Prioritizing physical education

For Native American students, the stakes are high with childhood obesity and diabetes at nearly epidemic levels in many tribal communities, and yet playgrounds and parks can be hard to come by if not at school.
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Healthy foods

While the Lower Sioux Indian Community’s garden is just beginning to take root, it reflects one of the subtle yet powerful environmental changes stirring pride and reintroducing indigenous foods within the rural community in Minnesota.

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Healthy Diné Nation Act

The Navajo Nation has collected more than $1 million in tax revenue through the Healthy Diné Nation Act to support community wellness projects including food and fitness classes, parks and clean water initiatives.
  • A child’s best interest and safety is at the heart of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law created to strengthen Native American families and tribes. (Courtesy Photo: Nicole Adams, National Indian Welfare Association)

5 things to know about ICWA

For those new to the Indian Child Welfare Act, experts share what families should know as they navigate the Indian child welfare system.
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Fertile Ground II

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and American Heart Association joined forces to improve food policy in Indian Country with Fertile Ground II: Growing the Seeds of Native Health May 2-4 in Minneapolis.
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Improving food access

With Native Americans disproportionately qualifying for federal nutrition assistance programs, several tribes are trying to improve food access on their own while providing an economic stimulus for their communities.
  • Native American Lifelines clients, many of whom have been cut off from their ancestral culture, learn to see themselves as real Natives by looking at examples such as this Gregg Deal mural.(Photo courtesy: Kerry Hawk Lessard / Native American Lifelines)

Toxic stress

The “fight or flight” response, while good in limited doses, can play havoc with brain development in infancy and childhood and increases the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other physical maladies.
  • Lexi's foster uncle, Graham Kelley, runs along with Lexi in the family services car as she is driven away yelling "we love you Lexi, we love you".  Because Lexi is part native-american the Department of Children and Family Services removed her from her current home to be placed with a native american family.  (Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles News Group)

ICWA and media

Beyond the headlines, details of the Lexi ICWA case reveal another side of the story. Families, tribes and many national Native American organizations have voiced their concern of the coverage of this case by mainstream media.
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Infant mortality

American Indian babies are dying at higher rates than other races. Poverty, access to care and domestic violence are among the factors impacting the health and well-being of American Indian mothers, infants and children.


Mallory(2)Mallory Black

Lenzy-Krehbiel-BurtonLenzy Krehbiel-Burton

Tommy CummingsTommy Cummings

Deb-at-Capitol-copyDebra Utacia Krol

Rhonda LeValdo