Four urban Indian Organizations Receive Grants to Battle Diabetes Using Indigenous Methods

Published February 16, 2018

SEATTLE – The Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) awarded four urban Indian organizations $10,000 grants each to develop programs, trainings, and services for diabetes prevention and management within urban Indian communities.

“Because each tribal culture has different traditions and each region of the country has different resources, we can’t approach health in urban Indian communities in a ‘one size fits all’ manner,” said Abigail Echo-Hawk, UIHI Director. “We need to be providing funding that will allow Native organizations to tackle health issues in ways that address the unique needs of the people they serve.”

The four organizations that were awarded grants include the American Indian Health & Services in Santa Barbara, Calif.; Fresno American Indian Health Project in Fresno, Calif.; Native Health in Phoenix, Ariz.; and Native American Youth and Family Center in Portland, Ore.

Each grantee will be creating diabetes prevention and management programs or activities in culturally-responsive ways that serve the unique needs of their urban Indian communities. Some of the programs and activities will include promoting exercise through traditional games, lessons on indigenous foods and preparation, and intergenerational learning opportunities between youth and elders.

“We are grateful to have resources to start reclaiming traditional knowledge in our communities,” said Doug Flaker, Program Development Director of the American Indian Health & Services. “As long as urban Indian organizations continue to work together, we will be able to make an impact on the health disparities in our communities.”

The grants were awarded under the Building Resiliency and Action to Nurture Community Health (BRANCH) Community Grants Program, an initiative of UIHI. BRANCH is a five-year initiative to strengthen the urban Indian public health infrastructure by building public health capacity, improving preventative care, and addressing health disparities in urban Indian communities nationwide.

UIHI will continue to distribute annual grants to urban Indian organizations around the country. Each year’s grantees will focus on a different chronic disease issue impacting Indian Country.

“By creating opportunities to develop unique, culturally-appropriate methods to address health issues in Indian Country comes a new way of thinking when it comes to funding urban Indian organizations,” Echo-Hawk said.

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