Groundbreaking Conference Planned to Expand Health Policy Advocacy in Indian Country

After the success of the first Fertile Ground roundtable, it is time to move it to the next level.

After the success of the first Fertile Ground roundtable, it is time to move it to the next level.

“Fertile Ground II” is an outcome of recent historic philanthropic roundtable on Indian nutrition

 Published March 1, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS – The American Heart Association (AHA) and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) are co-sponsoring a major convening to explore opportunities to advance policy work relating to nutrition, food access, and other work to improve health outcomes in Indian Country. Scheduled for May 2-4, 2016, in Minneapolis, “Fertile Ground II: Growing the Seeds for Native American Health” will bring together Native American leaders, Native youth advocates, and national philanthropic organizations to develop solutions to address the health crisis in Indian Country.

Participants are encouraged to come ready with ideas to support achieving priorities within the following discussion areas:

Traditional Healthy Foods: Production, Food Sovereignty, and Nutrition

Empowering Our People: Youth Leadership and Intergeneration Holistic Health

Creating Healthy Communities: Child Care, Schools, and Communities

Tribes, health experts, and funders are encouraged to participate. Email for more information on the event.

Native Americans face among the highest rates of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases in the United States. Without a dramatic and sustained investment in shifting these health trends, the future health and wellbeing of Native peoples and tribal nations are in jeopardy. “Fertile Ground II” seeks to explore Native-led advocacy and policy changes that can help address this health crisis.

“Fertile Ground II” is a continuation of the SMSC and AHA’s 2015 partnership to accelerate the development of a national framework to improve Native American nutrition and health. In October 2015, the two organizations convened representatives from 41 national philanthropic organizations to discuss the food crisis in Indian Country at “Fertile Ground: Planting the Seeds for Native American Nutrition and Health.” At the conference, participants agreed on concrete steps to develop solutions to this critical issue, including holding a second convening focused on Native-led advocacy and policy work.

Through Seeds of Native Health, the SMSC’s national philanthropic campaign to improve Native American nutrition, the tribe has brought together top experts and philanthropists in an effort to develop permanent solutions to this serious problem. The campaign also includes grant-making, education, and research efforts related to Native nutritional health.

“Fertile Ground II: Growing the Seeds for Native American Health” is also sponsored by the Marguerite Casey Foundation and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

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