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NB3F Names 'Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures' Grantees

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The Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F) has named ten grantees for Capacity Building Grants through its new national initiative,Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures, which launched in August 2013 focused on strategic grant making, research and mapping, capacity building, and advocacy to combat type 2 diabetes and obesity among Native American children.

In early fall 2013, NB3F issued a request for proposals for grants through the new national center. The nonprofit received an overwhelming response—55 applications requesting more than $1 million from Tribal communities and Native-controlled organizations.

(The next request for proposals will take place in April; for more information visit

RELATED:Request for Proposals for Grants Through NB3F's 'Native Strong' Initiative Ends October 28

Winners of the first round of Capacity Building Grants, totaling $189,065, received between $10,000 and $20,000 each. The funds will assist the grantees in completing community health assessments, community planning or capacity building projects in order to determine the needs within their individual communities, and best next steps in addressing health inequities among their children and families.

Capacity Building Grants represent one prong of the grantmaking strategy intended to support tribal communities or Native-controlled organizations in laying the groundwork for building childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention programming.

“An essential piece of the Capacity Building Grants is supporting grantees collection and analysis of relevant health data based on their communities’ unique cultural needs and resources,” said Olivia Roanhorse, Director of NB3F’s Native Strong national initiative. “A childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes strategic prevention plan that works for a large tribe in the Southern Plains will not necessarily be the best approach for an urban Indian community in the Upper Midwest. By supporting grantees’ in this process, we are hopeful this approach will provide needed resources and foundational data for tribal communities to develop and/or strengthen their prevention planning.”

The Capacity Building Grantees are:

• Citizen Potawatomi Nation – Childhood Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Strategic Plan, Oklahoma, $18,745 – This project will support development of a strategic plan to combat childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes using a youth wellness council, community meetings and community-guided assessment tools.?

• COPE Project – Addressing Childhood Obesity in Navajo Nation, New Mexico, $20,000 – This project will focus on mapping the Navajo food system through community-based activities that include key stakeholders and will guide strategy development for increasing access to health food in the Navajo Nation.?

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• First Nations Community Health Source – Healthy Futures, New Mexico, $20,000 – The goal of this project is to identify viable and realistic community- driven obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention strategies among Albuquerque’s urban Indian community.?

• Indian Health Board of Minneapolis – Youth Engaged Health Assessment in Minneapolis-St. Paul Urban American Indian Community, Minnesota, $20,000 – This project will engage Native American youth in investigating root causes of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes, who will then create and implement a health assessment and action plan to share their findings.?

• Inter Tribal Sports (ITS) – Dialogue for Development: A Community-Based Approach to Combat Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes, California, $20,000 – This project will utilize convenings of community leaders and medical professionals, regional talking circles and community surveys to develop a community-driven action plan to address childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.?

• The Pueblo of Jemez – Community Food Source Survey and Strategic Action Plan to Address Health Disparities, New Mexico, $20,000 – This project will actively identify and address health disparities through community-directed strategic planning.?

• The Pueblo of Picuris – Youth Lifestyles Assessment, New Mexico, $10,320 – This project seeks to understand lifestyles that contribute to childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes and implement prevention strategies based on findings from home visit surveys and community meetings.?

• The Pueblo of Santa Ana – Santa Ana Youth Obesity Health Assessment and Planning, New Mexico, $20,000 – This project will build on current evaluations to include children in the community evaluations. Assessments will be completed through surveys and interviews, the results of which will be shared through digital storytelling, community events and finalized reports.?

• Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa – The Red Cliff Obesity and Diabetes Assessment, Wisconsin, $20,000 – This project will include community needs assessments related to type 2 diabetes and access to health foods and current food sources, which will result in a community prevention and intervention plan.?

• Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma – Understanding Root Causes of Obesity and Diabetes Among Ponca Nation Youth, Oklahoma, $20,000 – This project will assess the health of Native American youth within the Ponca City School District. Additional information will be collected through in home surveys and a food system assessment. The assessments will guide a community-based strategic implementation plan to address childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes of Ponca youth.

Each grantee will implement their own strategies for assessing the health of their communities while NB3F will provide technical assistance for these projects. Grantees will use a broad range of tactics to complete their assessments and planning, some of which include in-home surveys, youth wellness councils and community meetings that are aimed at building community-led initiatives to support healthier lifestyles among Native American children and their families. All of the grantees’ projects focus on the importance of community-driven efforts in the fight against childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes for Native American children and their families.

While there are downward trends in childhood obesity rates in many states, the opposite is true for Native American communities. Currently, one out of two Native American children are expected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. Through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and others, NB3F is partnering with tribes throughout the United States to fight these epidemics.

For more information on Notah Begay III and NB3F,