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Using Traditional Foods and Sustainable Ecological Approaches for Health Promotion and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

The Native Diabetes Wellness Program (NDWP), Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, works with a growing circle of partners throughout Indian Country using Indigenous and western science to promote culturally-appropriate type 2 diabetes prevention programs in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

NDWP supports 17 cooperative agreements with Tribes and Tribal organizations through the Traditional Foods Project that encourage Tribal communities to incorporate traditional, sustainable, ecological approaches to diabetes prevention that focus on community based efforts to reclaim traditional foods, increase physical activity and strengthen social support networks. The 5-year project supports Tribes’ efforts to reclaim traditional ways of living and healthy food practices with children, families and schools to prevent diabetes across generations.

Role of the National Indian Health Board

The NDWP has contracted with the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) to support Traditional Foods grantees in their promotion of traditional healthy foods, increased physical activity, and strengthened social networks to reduce type 2 diabetes-related health disparities in their communities. NIHB can help facilitate the exchange of information on traditional food activities and events in Indian country, share success stories and lessons learned, identify and share available information on the integration of Indigenous and western scientific approaches that address obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention, and highlight community efforts that are implementing sustainable strategies.

In keeping with this role, NIHB will develop a report outlining successful strategies and lessons learned for use by the NDWP to sustain these efforts and share program findings with other interested Tribal programs.

What We Offer

NIHB can conduct conference calls, webinars and specialized workshops covering a range of topics to support the sharing of grantee’s innovative strategies to increase accessibility of traditional healthy foods in their communities, preserving traditional ways of health, and sharing stories of hope for preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes. These services are available to all the NDWP Traditional Foods grantees and can be provided by phone, fax, email, or online. Examples of technical assistance and cross-program sharing that grantees can access include the following:
  • Traditional Foods Grantee visits to other traditional foods communities (travel supported by the NIHB contract)
  • Resource identification
  • Information sharing and dissemination
  • Online forums
  • Webinars, website, and social media
  • Partnership development with other tribal entities and others engaging in traditional foods efforts
  • Facilitation of selected Traditional Foods Grantee presentations at two conferences during the course of the contract

View NIHB Assistance Request Form

NIHB Contacts:

Public Health Policy and Programs

National Indian Health Board
50 F St NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-507-4070



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National Indian Health Board
50 F St NW, Suite 600 | Washington, DC 20001 | Phone: 202-507-4070 | Email: [email protected]