Earlier this spring, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) announced the launch of a new campaign to improve the nutrition of Native Americans across the country. SMSC, based in Prior Lake, MN, is conducting the Seeds of Native Health campaign with three major partners, including the First Nations Development Institute, based in Colorado; the Notah Begay III Foundation, based in New Mexico; and the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS).
I was selected to lead the University’s work with Seeds of Native Health, which seeks to improve awareness of Native American nutrition problems, promote the wider application of proven best practices, and encourage additional work related to food access, education, and research.
Last week, I submitted a proposal that outlined how the University of Minnesota will provide leadership in the following three initiative areas:
- Help to develop the cultural interface between indigenous values and teachings and those of agricultural, biomedical and dietary research.
- Create a national repository (database) of Native American nutrition programs and practices.
- Serve as the convening partner for a series of annual nutrition conferences, starting in spring 2016 at the Mystic Lake Conference Center in Prior Lake.
For more information about this campaign, read SMSC’s March 24 news release and an article in the March 24 Minneapolis Star Tribune.