Notah Begay III Foundation Awards $387,438 in “Seeds of Native Health” Grants (April 4, 2016)

SANTA ANA PUEBLO, New Mexico (March 24, 2016) The Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F) is pleased to announce its 2016 “Seeds of Native Health”Capacity Building Grantees and Promising Program Grantees. Thanks to the generous support of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) and its “Seeds of Native Health” nutrition philanthropy campaign, the NB3 Foundation is awarding 11 grants to Native American tribes and native-led organizations working to improve nutrition and access to healthy foods for their children and communities. Combined with grants awarded in 2015, the SMSC and NB3 Foundation partnership has resulted in funding for 25 projects in Indian Country to improve Native nutrition.

“Native American tribes are in the best position to improve the health of their own people,” said Seeds of Native Health chair Lori Watso. “Funding and technical assistance through these grants will help tribes develop their own nutritional health strategies.”

“Our Native communities need resources to support culturally appropriate methods and meaningful data to tell their stories. These grants are doing this by supporting culturally rich nutrition programming and increasing access to healthy, traditional and affordable foods for their children and their communities,” said Olivia Roanhorse, Director of NB3F’s Native Strong Program.

The Capacity Building Grantees are:

  • Santa Fe Indian School Student Fitness Indigenized for Sustainable Wellness, New Mexico, $20,000: This project supports the student health and wellness leadership team to gather BMI data and other health indicator measurements to develop an action plan to help encourage and guide their peers in promoting health and wellness strategies/activities.
  • Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians Planting the Seeds, Wisconsin, $19,296: The goal of this project is to conduct a community food and readiness assessment including both quantitative and qualitative research to gain a deeper understanding of the causes of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes and barriers to health amongst Native American children. It will result in a community-driven and long-term strategic food sovereignty plan.

The Promising Program Grantees are:

  • Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Inc. Qaqamiigux Curriculum, Alaska, $40,000: The goal of this project is to enhance an existing nutritional curriculum and adapt it with culturally relevant content on traditional foods of the region for Unangan (Aleut) children, ages 3-5.
  • Tolani Lake Enterprises Cultivating Healthy Navajo Lifeways in the Little Colorado River Valley II, Arizona, $40,000: The goal of this project is to strengthen the TóŁani Enterprises, Inc. Youth Program, a unified after school youth sports and activities and gardening program.
  • Ndee Bikiyaa, The People’s Farm Ndee Bikiyaa Farm-to-School Initiative, Arizona, $40,000: The goal of this project is to increase access of Ndee Bikiyaa, The People’s Farm, and their food produce to the White Mountain Apache youth by incorporating the farm into existing educational and engagement programming at the local junior high school.
  • San Diego American Indian Health Center HEALing Ourselves and Our Community, California, $39,992: The goal of this project is to strengthen the existing Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Program to create a holistic approach incorporating nutrition education, agricultural practices and cultural knowledge.
  • Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (TMBCI) Traditional Native Foods: A Tribal School System Joins the Battle, North Dakota, $40,000: The project is fully supported by the tribal council and TMBCI school superintendent to promote traditional foods and healthy nutrition education to the elementary, middle and high school students.
  • Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Akwesasne Strong, New York, $39,211: The goal of this project is to enhance the TRAIL program to share knowledge and skills about food sustainability and growth to children ages 8-12.
  • Oklahoma City Indian Clinic Promise Fulfilled: Data Analyst for AI Youth Health and Fitness Programs, Oklahoma, $40,000: The goal of this project is to support program data management and analysis to help guide priorities and measure outcomes with a focus on reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and screen time of American Indian youth ages 6-17.
  • Oyate Teca Project Medicine Root Gardening Program, South Dakota, $29,522: The goal of this project is to increase the availability of fresh, healthy, locally produced foods grown by the youth and their families and teach healthy eating and cooking skills.
  • Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians Wewenii Anokidaa (Let’s Work Well), Wisconsin, $39,417: The goal of this project is to develop and incorporate indigenized fitness activities and ancestral diet practices into after-school and summer programming at the Birch Hill Community House, which serves youth ages 6-17 on the Bad River reservation.

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 grassroots, 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 1990s, the SMSC has donated more than $325 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. (


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