Whirling Thunder Center Wins Award from Harvard

Nov 15th, 2003 | By | Category: 15-2: Reclaiming Native Health, Tribal College News

The Winnebago Tribe’s Whirling Thunder Wellness Program has received a national award from the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. The Winnebago Tribal Health Department in Nebraska has created an exemplary program that addresses both diabetes and substance abuse. Because the tribe administers it, it provides culturally appropriate prevention programs and encourages healthy lifestyles consistent with traditional practices. The local college, Little Priest Tribal College, provides training and certification for the Whirling Thunder staff through a partnership agreement.

A recent study by the University of Nebraska suggests that the Winnebago Tribe is winning its battle against diabetes by reducing risk factors such as obesity. Children participating in physical activity interventions sponsored by the tribal wellness program gained significantly less weight than those who did not participate. Harvard applauded the Winnebago’s idea to address both diabetes and substance abuse, using “multidimensional interventions to solve multidimensional problems.”

The Honoring Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations program was launched in 1998 with the support of the Ford Foundation to recognize outstanding examples of tribal governance.

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