Traditional Foods Project

Using Traditional Foods and Sustainable Ecological Approaches for Health Promotion and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in American Indian and Alaska Native communities was a 6-year cooperative agreement that championed 17 tribal programs. The tribal programs worked to restore access to local, traditional foods and physical activity to promote health. The goals were to:

  • Support traditional, sustainable, evaluable ecological approaches to type 2 diabetes prevention, focusing on local efforts to reclaim traditional foods and physical activity.
  • Encourage local health practices and policies to increase availability of and access to local, traditional foods and physical activity.
  • Revive, create, and preserve stories of healthy traditional ways shared in homes, schools, and communities
  • Engage community members to improve and sustain activities in health promotion, sharing stories of hope for preventing diabetes and its complications.

American Indian and Alaska Native communities across the country are reclaiming traditional foods as part of the global Indigenous food sovereignty movement that embraces identity, history, and traditional ways and practices to address health. Traditional food stories teach the understand the importance and meaning of traditional foods across Indian Country.

The CDC is dedicated to devoting resources to reduce health disparities and improve health in Indian Country. Through a CDC grant titled “A Comprehensive Approach to Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country,”, ‘ preventative methods that are: community-chosen and culturally-adapted policies, systems, and environmental changes help to promote health and wellness and prevent and reduce heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and associated risk factors in American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages.