“Diabetes is Not Our Way of Life”
Native Americans have the highest rate of type II diabetes in the world — even though the disease is preventable and did not affect American Indians historically.
Today, diabetes is so prevalent that the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, SD has launched a large-scale public awareness campaign that is dedicated to preventing diabetes among Lakota youth.
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is perhaps the first tribe to emphasize that diabetes and its associated costs and challenges are on a par with mental health and substance abuse concerns and costs for tribes, and that it should be prioritized accordingly.
Michele Obama’s initiative – “Let’s Move in Indian Country” – has brought more attention to the rate of childhood obesity and diabetes that has been growing over generations. Please refer to our earlier blogs on the issue:
The above video, entitled Diabetes is Not Our Way, was put out by the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), in conjunction with the Lowenstein Foundation, the Diabetes Action research and Education Foundation, and the Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development.
It is the hope of CRYP that this campaign will help raise awareness about the rise of diabetes among Native children and what their future holds. They also hope to encourage and motivate other tribes to seriously undertake individual, family, and community efforts and collaborations to prevent type II diabetes among Native youth.