Native News Network Staff in Health. Discussion »
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA The Cherokee Nation hosted US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials and notable Cherokee actor and citizen, Wes Studi, in Tahlequah for three days to shoot a diabetes prevention commercial.
The public service announcement is set to air this Fall.
“Hopefully we can be the solution to preventing Type II diabetes which runs at a high rate in our tribe by promoting eating more traditional foods and playing our traditional games,”
said Studi, known for his movie roles in
Dances with Wolves, and
The Last of the Mohicans.
The commercial features traditional Cherokee and other tribal stickball players in action on the field set in both past and modern time at the Cherokee Nation's Male Seminary recreation facility which was bought by the tribe four years ago for citizens to workout.
Studi is prominently featured and narrates the message.
“We used to be more active, but some Cherokees today are more into television and video games,”
said Sequoyah High School Senior Mahli McNac, who plays stickball and in the commercial.
“It's cool to be part of this message.”
The commercial urges Cherokees and all of Indian country to look to its roots for a healthier lifestyle since the diabetes diagnosis rate has increased 68 percent for American Indian teens aged 15-19 between 1994 and 2004.
Sixteen percent of American Indian adults are diagnosed with diabetes compared to 7 percent of the white population, and one in three adults in the total US population are predicted to have the disease by 2050, the CDC says.
“This effort is conceived at the behest of tribal elders who have held from the beginning that we know what is good with regard to diabetes prevention and health promotion - our culture is a source of health,”
said Larry Alonso, with the CDC Native Diabetes Wellness Program in Atlanta who helped with the commercial shoot.
“That was the impetus for the traditional foods project. This filming and public service announcement seek to demonstrate that traditional foods, wise choices and traditional forms of exercise are effective to avoid the onset of Type II diabetes.”
The public service announcement is set to air this fall in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and other highly populated tribal markets across the country from the CDC's traditional foods grant.
posted September 10, 2012 6:00 am edt