Wellness Center Fights ‘Commod Bods’Sep 15th, 1999 | By tcj | Category: 11-1: 10th Anniversary Issue, Tribal College News
With the help of a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Fort Peck Community College has created a Community Health and Wellness Center. The elders named the center “Daya Tibi,” which means House of Good Living. The center offers programs to appeal to the entire community, including pregnant women, policemen, heart attack victims, new fathers, adolescents, seniors, and diabetics. An average of 125 people per day use the center for services such as aerobics, weight training, aqua aerobics, nutrition awareness, smoking cessation, and stress management. The staff is starting a snack bar to serve healthy foods, such as blender fruit drinks.
The center’s newsletter reports several success stories. A group of men who use the center call themselves the “Commod Bods.” After growing up on USDA commodities, they want to modify their eating habits. They say they are USDA approved. A mother and daughter teamed up and together lost 33 pounds, improving their self-esteem by 100 percent. An elderly stroke victim used the treadmill and weight training and no longer needs his walker.
In collaboration with Montana State University Extension Service, the center staff has developed a seven week nutrition course, which includes presentations by elders on culture and traditional foods preparation, such as dry meat, pemmican, corn soup, juneberry soup, and cherry patties. The center collaborates with more than a dozen other federal, tribal, and state agencies and local businesses.
With the help of Indian Health Service, individuals can get a fitness test and their own exercise plan. After the third fitness test, participants receive a pair of Nike walking shoes to encourage them to keep exercising. Over 51 percent of the students at the college utilize the wellness center. Volunteers who are trained in First Aid and CPR operate the center in the evening. For more information, call Jeanette Charboneau at (406) 768-5630.