Notah Begay III Foundation awards $277,800 in Seeds of Native Health grants

NB3_256_transThe Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F) is pleased to announce its 2015 “Seeds of Native Health” Promising Program Grantees. Thanks to the generous support of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and their national “Seeds of Native Health” campaign, the NB3 Foundation is awarding seven grants to Native American tribes and native-led organizations working to improve nutrition and access to healthy foods for their children and communities.

“Native American health problems have many causes, but we know that good health starts with good nutrition,” said SMSC Secretary/Treasurer Lori Watso, a champion for the campaign who has spent much of her career in community public health. “We look forward to seeing the important work each grantee will be doing to improve the health of Native children.”

“Our Native communities need resources to support culturally appropriate methods and meaningful data to tell their stories. The Promising Program Grant is an important resource that supports these types of projects and community-informed strategies to address childhood obesity,” said Olivia Roanhorse, Director of NB3F’s Native Strong Program.

The Promising Program Grantees are:

  • Nawayee Center School Nawayee Center School Healthy Choice Program, Minnesota, $40,000: The goal of this project is to address and promote healthy living practices through a nutrition program for Native American students in grades 7-12. Youth will grow food in a large garden, create a healthy foods map, harvest wild rice and sugar bush, net and smoke fish, and gather wild foods and traditional medicines.
  • Peta Wakan Tipi/Dream of Wild Health American Indian Youth Healthy Leaders Program, Minnesota, $40,000: The goal of this project is to provide culturally based year round programming for low-income Twin Cities urban American Indian youth, ages 8-18. The program will focus on increasing children’s knowledge of traditional foods, nutrition, cooking, disease prevention, organic farming, and community advocacy.
  • Cochiti Youth Experience The Hi’hika Project, New Mexico, $40,000: The goal of this project is to focus on transferring traditional Cochiti agricultural knowledge from the older generation of Cochiti farmers to a younger generation of Cochiti farmers through a mentorship approach.
  • Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA) Project Oidag, Arizona, $37,800: The goal of this project is to incorporate a health/culture/nutrition curriculum for K-12 students at local schools, organize public cultural seasonal events (cooking workshops, mobile market), and create a campaign of Tribal/Native foods policymaking.
  • Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Grammas in the Garden, Wisconsin, $40,000: The goal of this project is to teach students about preventing childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes as they cook with the Grammas. They will learn to preserve healthy foods from the community garden and manoomin harvest. A cookbook of healthy traditional recipes and a documentary of the project will be created.
  • Thunder Valley CDC Lakȟótiya Škíŋčiyapi, South Dakota, $40,000: The goal of this project is to increase health and wellness for students ages K-12 to decrease high levels of obesity and childhood Type 2 Diabetes. Students will be taught a health and wellness curriculum in Lakota and get hands-on experience producing food at the community garden.
  • Cheyenne River Youth Project Learning To Eat Like Our Ancestors, South Dakota, $40,000: The goal of this project is to offer classes to youth and their families taught by a Native food expert and Native elders about traditional foods (Gather, Preserve, and Prepare). Food produced from the Wiyan Toka Win garden and gathered from field trips will be incorporated into the daily meals and snacks provided by CRYP youth, sold at farmer’s market, and used in the Keya Café.

All of these projects reflect the importance of community-driven efforts in reducing childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes among Native American children and their families.

About Seeds of Native Health

Seeds of Native Health is a comprehensive, national campaign to improve Native American nutrition through capacity building, education, and research, supported by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The campaign builds on localized efforts to solve the problems of Indian nutrition and hopes to raise awareness, spread knowledge, create capacity for change, and develop additional solutions on a broader scale. (

About the Notah Begay III Foundation

The NB3 Foundation is the only national Native American nonprofit organization solely dedicated to reversing Native American childhood obesity and type-2 diabetes. NB3 Foundation is setting a national standard for investing in evidence-based, community-driven and culturally relevant programs that prevent childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes, ensuring healthy futures for Native American children and their communities.

Since its launch in 2005, NB3 Foundation has grown its reputation and track record in Indian Country in the areas of grant making, research, evaluation, direct programming and policy advocacy. NB3 Foundation invests in and works closely with grass-roots, Native-led organizations across the country that are exploring promising new practices, expanding proven methods, conducting community-based research, and evaluating impact. (

About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

The Shakopee Mdewakaton Sioux Community (SMSC), a federally recognized sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is leading the Seeds of Native Health. The SMSC has a deep-seated tradition of helping other tribes and Native American people. The campaign represents a new extension of its long history of philanthropy, by committing a portion of its annual charitable giving to a dedicated purpose. Since opening its Gaming Enterprise in the 1990’s, the SMSC has donated more than $300 million to organizations and causes and has contributed millions more to regional governments and infrastructure projects such as roads, water and sewer systems, and emergency services. (