The Urban Native Education Alliance is using a $31,300 grant from the Notah Begay III Foundation to promote healthy lifestyles and physical activity among urban Native youth.
The UNEA’s Circle of Strength program provides education on diabetes and obesity, and promotes 60 minutes of physical activity four to five times a week.
UNEA Chairwoman Sarah Sense-Wilson, Oglala, said the UNEA’s Native Warriors Basketball Program will be the catalyst for improving health, self-esteem and educational achievement of urban Native youth.
“We want our Native youth to develop lifelong skills for supporting mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical balance,” she said. “We are fully aware of the devastating impact diabetes and obesity has on our Native communities. We also recognize the significance of informing community members about risks, prevention and nutrition as a vehicle for effectively addressing the problem of obesity and diabetes. We want to empower our youth to make informed decisions for strengthening their health and overall well-being.”
The Urban Native Education Alliance is a grassroots, volunteer-based, nonprofit organization based in Seattle. Its mission is to engage all generations to empower Native youth though education, culture, and tradition. Its programs include Seattle Clear Sky Native Youth Council, Native Warriors Basketball, and an indigenous languages program.
UNEA was at the forefront of the effort to save the American Indian Heritage High School program, formerly located at the Wilson-Pacific School site—where UNEA’s programs take place—in Seattle’s Licton Springs neighborhood.