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Traditional foods in native America. Part III, a compendium of stories from the Indigenous food sovereignty movement in American Indian and Alaska Native communities
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    Introduction and Shared Themes: Purpose and Background; Methods; Benefits and Significance of Traditional Foods Programs in Indian Country; Key Findings and Shared Themes -- Highlights on Traditional Foods Initiatives: An Interview with Suanne Unger, Author of Qaqamiigux: Traditional Foods and Recipes from the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Inc (APIA)—Alaska; Native American Foods and Health Program, First Nations Development Institute (FNDI)—Colorado; 2013 Traditional Foods Program Grantee Partner Meeting, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC)—Alaska -- Traditional Foods Programs: Healthy Roots Project, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; Food is Our Medicine (FIOM), Seneca Nation—New York; Healthy Traditions Project, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians— Oregon -- Special Highlights on the Eagle Books: Building Community—Strengthening Traditional Ties, Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa—Oklahoma; Living Well Traditionally (LWT) Diabetes Prevention Youth Camp, NATIVE HEALTH—Arizona; Community Health Program, Salish Kootenai College—Montana -- References and Resources: Contact Information; Additional Resources; References -- Appendices: Seneca Nation’s Native Plant Policy; Seneca Nation’s “Recommended No-Planting List” (for non-native species); Native Landscape of Seneca Nation’s Administration Building.

    Commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Native Diabetes Wellness Program (NDWP), this report is the third in a compendium of stories highlighting traditional foods programs in culturally and geographically diverse American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN)


    For more than a decade, the CDC’s NDWP has supported tribally-driven efforts to promote health and help prevent type 2 diabetes in AI/AN communities. Among many promising efforts, such as the highly acclaimed Eagle Books series and the Diabetes Education in Tribal Schools (DETS) K–12 Curriculum, a particularly innovative approach to diabetes prevention has been the NDWP’s Traditional Foods Program.

    From 2008 to 2014, NDWP’s Traditional Foods Program helped support 17 tribal communities through cooperative agreements. The partner grantees represent tribes and tribal organizations from coast to coast, each taking a unique approach to restoring and sustaining a healthful and traditional food system. While supporting health promotion and type 2 diabetes prevention efforts, these projects also addressed critical issues such as food security, food sovereignty, cultural preservation, and environmental sustainability.

    In addition to highlighting stories about Traditional Foods Program partner grantees, the NDWP was eager to learn more about traditional foods initiatives across Indian Country. At first, the gathered stories were intended to help educate NDWP about how to continue this work. As the collection of stories evolved,

    it became apparent that tribal representatives participating in the project wanted their stories to be shared with all who could learn from them, with the hope that those who heard the stories would then share stories of their own. The nine stories presented here comprise Part III in the series—a compendium of stories involving traditional foods—to achieve that goal.

    To collect this compendium of interviews and stories, NDWP partnered with Chelsea Wesner (Choctaw), a program planner at the University of Oklahoma’s American Indian Institute. Based on interviews with key people in each community, the stories in this compendium demonstrate how traditional foods programs are building food security, preserving cultural knowledge, and restoring health.

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