OUR WORK NB3F - The Notah Begay III Foundation

Our Work

NB3 Foundation works with and invests in promising and community-driven programs, research and advocacy that promotes healthy weight, healthy nutrition, and physical activity aimed at preventing Native American childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. NB3F works through its two signature programs, Native Strong and NB3FIT.

Native Strong

Native Strong (NS) is a national program of grantmaking, technical assistance, research, communications and advocacy.  Working with a network of community partners, organizations and national partners, NS works to promote healthy weight in Native communities. NS believes that Native American communities have the inherent knowledge, assets and values to advance their health. NS is designed to provide tribal and Native American communities with the tools and information needed to create sustainable change in their own communities that benefit their children’s health.

The NB3 Foundation’s goal through Native Strong is to build a national childhood obesity prevention framework that improves the health of Native American children in targeted Native communities by:

  • Supporting healthy weight, physical activity and nutrition strategies in Native communities,
  • Investing in asset- and evidence-based programming,
  • Partnering with tribal and Native communities to gather and analyze data to better understand how root causes and the social determinants of health are linked to obesity and diabetes among Native children, and
  • Linking communities to critical resources and addressing policy changes at the tribal, state and federal levels.

Native Strong’s grants support community-based programs that focus on children’s nutrition education, access to healthy foods, increased physical activity and culturally-based youth/community leadership development. Grants are supported by Native Strong’s capacity building technical assistance, research and evaluation, and policy work.  NB3F welcomes opportunities to work with tribes and Native communities when appropriate.

NB3 FIT Program

NB3FIT is a direct service youth sports and leadership program currently serving Native American and tribal communities in New Mexico. NB3FIT promotes physical activity, leadership development, and healthy nutrition among Native youth.  NB3FIT provides youth with access and opportunities to golf, soccer and cross-country. Through sports, NB3FIT works directly with Native youth, coaches and mentors to help instill life-skills training and healthy living habits in order to reduce the risk for developing childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. Our aim is for every child to see physical activity as FUN!  Our coaches and volunteers provide an engaging and positive environment that lays the groundwork for a lifetime of physical activity for our participants. All youth participants receive individual attention, feel included, and feel that they have the support they need to learn the game and can compete at any level.  Through NB3FIT sports we teach:

  • Nutrition education and health choices that can prevent and/or address childhood obesity and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,
  • Native cultural values such as respect for others and for self, persistence, teamwork, and self-discipline which will carry forward positively to other areas of their lives, and
  • Physical fitness and personal physical wellness and leadership.

NB3FIT provides highly acclaimed youth golf, soccer and cross-country programs, camps, seminars and in-school physical-education classes utilizing one-of-a-kind, culturally-rooted curriculum designed to motivate, inspire and educate Native youth.

Sports is widely acknowledged for its effective ability to mobilize and inspire youth and structured programs such as NB3FIT offer needed opportunities for complementary education on health.

NB3 Foundation Accomplishments

  • 24,000+ Native children and families have been served in 14 states since 2005.
  • 2012-13 Johns Hopkins University evaluation of NB3F’s work at San Felipe Pueblo showed statistically significant decline in average BMI (body mass index), changes in self-esteem, peer leadership and knowledge around nutrition and healthy choices in the Native children participating in NB3F programs.
  • 2012, NB3F published a nationally distributed white paper on the impact of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes on Native American children in New Mexico through an unprecedented level of research, public education, and dialogue concerning next steps in NM and nationwide. Issues examined included the role of food deserts and barriers Native American communities face in agricultural production, the revitalization of traditional foods and accessing healthy and affordable foods.
  • 2012, received the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy.
  • Since 2008, raised more them $4.5 million from The Challenge, NB3F’s signature golf fundraiser event.
  • Awarded more than $1.8 million in grants to tribal communities to support childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention and invested more than $7 million in direct service programming that has included nutrition education programming, food access pilot projects, community garden and traditional foods projects, evidence-based sport programming, physical activity/sports camps and clinics, technical assistance to tribal communities and nonprofits, and research and evaluation work with the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health.
  • 2013, NB3F launched a national initiative “Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures”- a national framework designed to reduce Native American childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. With a $3.65 million seed investment from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Wal-Mart Foundation and an anonymous donor, Native Strong is three years into full implementation.
  • 2015, NB3F was selected as a national partner to help implement “Seeds of Native Health,” a new $5 million national campaign to improve Native American nutrition through capacity building, education and research, supported by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.
  • In 2015, NB3F launched NB3FIT, a new youth sports-centered program dedicated to promoting healthy, active living among Native youth through obesity prevention activities and youth leadership development opportunities.

Our Grantee Partners

Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment
Gallup NM
Capacity Building Grant

Santa Ana Community Wellness Program
Santa Ana Pueblo NM
Capacity Building Grant

First Nations Community HealthSource
Albuquerque NM
Capacity Building Grant

White Eagle Health Center/Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma
Ponca City OK
Capacity Building Grant

Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Shawnee OK
Capacity Building Grant

Red Cliff Community Health Center
Bayfield WI
Capacity Building Grant

The STAR School
Flagstaff AZ
Promising Program Grant

Boys & Girls Clubs of the White Earth Reservation
Naytahwaush MN
Promising Program Grant

Little Earth of United Tribes
Minneapolis MN
Promising Program Grant

Zuni Youth Enrichment Project
Zuni NM
Promising Program Grant

Santa Ana Community Wellness Program
Santa Ana Pueblo NM
Promising Program Grant

Santo Domingo Tribe – Kewa Health Outreach Program
Santo Domingo Pueblo NM
Promising Program Grant

Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes
Concho OK
Promising Program Grant