Field of Work: Obesity and healthy food in tribal environments
Problem Synopsis: Traditional agricultural practices were destroyed when the Mvskoke Indian people were pushed west along the legendary Trail of Tears. Rekindling interest in some ancestral ways, including growing more of their own food, is one strategy for addressing obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases, which are so high among native populations.
Synopsis of the Work: The Mvskoke Food and Fitness Policy Council is a project of Communities Creating Healthy Environments, which aims to curb childhood obesity using community organizing to advocate for policy changes in communities of color.
Key Results: The Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative, which works to preserve and revitalize the tribe's food heritage, created a Food and Fitness Policy Council. Members include tribal leaders, clinicians, social service providers, public health experts and a community farmer.
In early meetings, council members have begun to develop a strategy for collecting data on obesity in the tribe, increasing access to more fruits and vegetables and growing more food on tribal lands.