Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
ATLANTA New public service announcements, PSAs were filmed on site at the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and feature renowned Cherokee actor Wes Studi and representatives from tribal partners from across the United States.
Cherokee actor Wes Studi on horseback in new video
The PSAs highlight the wisdom of cultural knowledge, including harvesting local foods and playing traditional games, in promoting health and preventing diseases like type 2 diabetes in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
“Hopefully we can be the solution to preventing Type 2 diabetes by promoting eating more traditional foods and playing our traditional games,”
said Studi, known for his movie roles including Avatar, The Last of the Mohicans, and Dances With Wolves.
Type 2 diabetes is a growing concern around the world, including in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. American Indian and Alaska Native adults are twice as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. In addition, Native youth aged 10 to 19 years are developing type 2 diabetes at higher rates than youth in other racial and ethnic groups of this age.
Studi also gave testimony to the Senate Indian Affairs committee at "The Way Out of the Diabetes Crisis in Indian Country" hearing June 30, 2010
Many tribal communities are dedicated to engaging youth and families to reclaim traditional ways of health by harvesting local, traditional foods and increasing access to traditional games and dancing. Cora Flute, the health educator who oversees Cherokee Nation's Traditional Foods Project, recently told the University of Oklahoma's American Indian Institute, that their program will "continue to increase awareness that traditional foods are a part of our past that has sustained us and kept us healthy. Community and family gardens were essentials in access to fresh healthy foods and physical activity was part of staying healthy," she emphasized.
Flute expressed her gratitude for being able to take part in the health promotion message, noting that it is about "finding ways within ourselves as individuals-Indian people preventing diseases such as type 2 diabetes." She added that tribal community members should be acknowledged for "bringing people together" to share these messages in meaningful ways
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posted February 8, 2013 8:50 am est