The inaugural and historical nationwide event NB3FIT Day took place across Indian country and the nation on Sunday, November 13.
The Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F) launched the national platform NB3FIT Day to engage tribes, organizations, businesses, communities, and families in promoting physical activity, nutrition and healthy-lifeways among Native youth. The goal of the initiative is to engage 10,000 Native youth in physical activity for a minimum on one hour on one day throughout the country.
More than 50 youth from the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribal community participated in the national campaign, which NB3F created in response to the fact that one-third of Native American youth are considered overweight, and one out of two Native children will develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe registered early, and recruited KaiaFIT Fernley, owned by Pyramid Lake Tribal member, Lindsey Kreller, to create a circuit style 60-plus minute exercise program in the tribe’s gym. Kreller and several tribal members who work out at KaiaFit jointly instruct the class. The Pyramid Lake Tribal Diabetes Program provided healthy snacks and water for everyone. For more than an hour, kids and guests, as young as 3 years old, performed a multitude of movements, finishing off with a yoga-style cool down and stretch.
Janet Davis, coordinator for Tribal Recreation, spearheaded the project after she saw a post on Facebook. “It sounded like something that we could do to raise awareness to our families about the importance of exercising. It was also exciting that by participating we could be a part of a National Movement with other Tribes across the United States,” she said.
Roughly the same time she saw the post, Dennis Conrad, president of Reno-based Raving Consulting, reached out to her directly to encourage Davis's participation. Raving has worked in tribal gaming for nearly two decades and chose NB3F as their charitable partner more than two years ago.
“Coincidentally, at about the same time we made our commitment to devote our fundraising efforts to NB3F, I was diagnosed with diabetes. So, this affiliation has been much more for me than just tapping into our network to raise money or writing a check; it has kept me motivated to control my diabetes and lose over 50 pounds. I never fully realized that 50% of Native youth are facing a life of obesity and unfulfilled years fighting health problems including type II diabetes and we’re motivated to help NB3F change this statistic,” shared Conrad.
Congrad and his team attended Sunday and worked out with Davis and the youth.
There was no entry cost to receive signage, t-shirts and materials for the event from NB3F.
“I thought this was an important event that we held this past weekend. It is important for the families, the community to see how important being active is! How it can help their children be active and healthy. In fact, we had one of the kids ask, ‘So are we supposed to come back next weekend to do this again? It was fun!” So with that, we are thinking maybe we can meet on Sunday mornings to do something similar, to keep up the exercise program,” Davis said.
Davis said that they will be looking for other opportunities that NB3F offers to Tribes for wellness activities for kids. We hope to offer other activities as well.
Due to a limited budget, Davis is not able to provide more exercise programs, other than a gym time for youth basketball team during the winter months.
“We have parents who take their students to play sports in the nearby cities; but that is completely on their own and at their own expense. We would like to offer more to our youth but again, our program is funded at a part time level and we do not have the capability or funding to more than what we are at the present time. It would be nice to help with the expenses for the out of the area sports, to offer entry fees to the youth teams, to offer camps to the different sports such as running, basketball, cheerleading, baseball, soccer, softball and football and further to provide exercise programs for our youth,” Davis said.