About a year ago, my friend Thosh and I were hanging out in New York City, where I lived at the time and where he was visiting friends. For a while, we had been toying with the idea of making something out of our shared passion for Indigenous wellness – we just didn't know what.
We recognized that there was already a grassroots Indigenous wellness movement taking place all over Native country, and we wanted to develop that. So, we started by figuring out what to call it.
We talked for a while about the uniqueness of Indigenous wellness - how our people’s perspectives on health and fitness are different from the mainstream. Eventually, Thosh said something like this:
"... It's about being well so that we can be strong for our families; it's about being well so that we can serve as positive examples for our youth; it's about being well to sustain the livelihood of our communities... it's about being well for culture."
The rest is history, and I'm happy to say that after months and months of brainstorming, planning, designing, photographing, video editing, writing, editing, and networking, wellforculture.com has launched.
The website is all about wellness from an entirely Indigenous knowledge base. It serves as a resource for all things Ancestral Diet and Indigenizing Fitness. Don't know what that means? Learn more on the site!
On wellforculture.com, you will find video tutorials, inspiration, recipes, networking opportunities, and more. The website will constantly be updated, so don't forget to check back from time to time. Also, be sure to follow us on social media on Twitter and Instagram, and Well For Culture on Facebook.
I chose to share the story about the beginnings of wellforculture.com because I see it as an example of something that can continue to happen at an exponential rate. It started as a few disparate voices with a scattering of relatable ideas who came across one another in a digital space and in no time at all, helped one another to bring our ideas to fruition. Others have already become critical contributors to the project including Martin Sensmeier, Sunny RedBear, Dion Evans, Amson Collins, and the list goes on. We continually meet others who have ideas and strengths to contribute, and we hope that that continues.
One of the primary purposes of this website is to facilitate a continuation of these types of positive friendships and work relationships in order to further build the Indigenous wellness movement. We're putting the energy out there so that it attracts more of its kind.
Another purpose of the website is to proactively represent our people in a positive light. Rather than complain about how others stereotype us, we are promoting the reality, which is that there are a whole lot of innovative, bright, exceptionally talented Native people who are out there leading positive lifestyles that the rest of the world would do well to learn from.
Indigenous knowledge is advanced, technical, and just as valuable (if not more) than Western or other types of popular fitness trends. That's why this site will serve not only as a resource for our people, but also for anybody else who wants to learn about tried and true ways of healthy living.
Indigenous people were, for the most part, physically active and incredibly strong for thousands of years. We're still strong. Survival, fortitude, and adaptability are in our DNA. In the great scheme of things, this period of chronic diseases and poor health that is plaguing our communities right now is just a hiccup – we can come out of it together, but we have to do it from within.
We hope you make good use of wellforculture.com. Please always feel free to share the information you find, and to participate in the dialogue on social media. It’s not exclusive, it’s not a clique or a club – it’s a community project, and we look forward to collaborating with you in the near future.
Chelsey Luger. Photo by Eller Bonifacio.
Chelsey Luger is Anishinaabe and Lakota from North Dakota. She hopes to be a strong link in a long chain of ancestors and descendants by spreading ideas for health and wellness. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Ideas for articles? Email her: email@example.com.