Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


March 22, 2003 - Issue 83


pictograph divider


Health and Wellness

by Geoff Hampton
credits: art Dancing for Life by Leland Bell

Dancing for Life by Leland BellAlthough it may be hard to come to grips with, the truth is that control of personal health and wellness is a matter of individual choice for the vast majority of Native Americans. The current state of poor health is not a product of Heritage. The Ancestors were very healthy. However they were also very active and ate only to satisfy their need for the daily performance of their bodies. The current state of deterioration can be attributed to many things. Those sources are totally irrelevant. The cure is all that matters. This is a war and victory is attainable. It has already come at a high cost, but now is the time to turn the tide.

The mirror test:
It's time for each individual to take a look in the mirror and conduct an important self-evaluation. Every person who gets involved can and will make a difference for at least one other person and maybe even more. The goal should be to inspire through motivated leadership the entire community. Think about it. You can make a difference. It takes commitment, conviction and a plan. It's that simple.

The Commitment:
I WILL make a difference!

The Conviction:
Negativity is not acceptable.

The Plan:
This is up to the individual. There are plenty of positive role models already working to make a difference. Here are a few:

Pam Belgarde
Pam is dedicated to making a profound difference in the quality of life for as many Native Americans as she possibly can. She is the Producer of the entertaining and beneficial video, "Rez-Robics". She is also pioneering a unique and potentially incredibly impactive exercise video for children. You can contact her by e-mail at

Roxanne Darling
Roxanne Darling is another inspired individual who has already made a profound difference in many communities all over North America. You can access her information via Internet at or via e-mail at

There are many others. If you know of someone, please e-mail me at so that we can get the information out there. The more information and education that becomes available, the sooner the difference in better quality of life for everyone will become evident.

How many are really working to make a difference right now?

Rate yourself:

  • I am actively working to change the course of poor health that threatens my family and my community. Grade - Pass You are a part of the solution.
  • I am not actively working to change the course of poor health that threatens my family and my community. Grade - Fail You are a part of the problem. It may not feel good to come to that realization, but it is true.

    Reality - Do something proactive - make a positive difference

    Reality - Do nothing - allow the disaster to continue to grow worse

Self Motivation - The Key To Success
There are always circumstances that can negatively impact ones opportunities to attain good health or make a positive difference for others, but sadly the most prevalent condition is simply lack of proper self-motivation. Self-motivation can be confounded by many different types of circumstances, but ultimately, self-healing and self-health are imperative for individuals who are at risk for catastrophic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

In order to practically apply self-motivation one must first make a conscious effort to eliminate all negative thoughts. That includes negative thoughts about anything and not just ones related to health and wellness. Health and wellness of the physical body is impossible without spiritual health. Spiritual health enables the mind and spirit to influence the body. The mind does whatever thoughts it is consumed by. The thoughts that the mind consumes determine how every individual responds to any given situation. Positive thoughts create positive action. Negative thoughts create negative actions. The negativity cycle must be broken.

The second most important ingredient:
Find someone to serve as your partner in health. It is difficult to make serious life changes alone. A trustworthy companion can make all the difference in the world. One day you may not feel up to doing what needs to be done and your companion can help motivate you. On another day the role may reversed. The key is to really want to help your companion passionately and they in turn will really want to passionately help you!

Who at this point does not know that there is an epidemic of diabetes and related afflictions running rampant in Native American Communities all over North America?

Who at this point does not know someone who has suffered the devastating effects of this epidemic?

Therefore, it is common knowledge that if an individual who is currently overweight and/or living a sedentary lifestyle does not change the way they live the odds are significant that they too will be stricken. It is a horrible price to pay for simply waiting to become a victim. Additionally, for those already afflicted, a change in their eating habits and level of exercise can make a profound positive difference in the quality of their lives right now.

Does that mean radical change is the only way to make a difference?

No way. It goes without saying that radical change will bring about the fastest results, but radical change is rarely successful in transforming people's lives unless there is a life altering revelation revealed to them. It is far more effective for the majority to seek-low level change first. Then, through a progressive series of goal oriented additional changes, the victory of improved health and quality of life becomes very attainable.

Goal Oriented Change:
Success is dramatically increased through clearly defined, time oriented goals. When you determine your goals write them down and put them where you will see them every day. Keep a daily log of what you do for physical activity and exactly what and how much food you consume on a daily basis. Portion control for food is a tremendous factor in making positive health change.


Failure Cycle - You must completely change everything that you eat immediately. Forget about it. This is not realistic for most people and is a recipe for massive failure.

Success Cycle - You need to modify the portions that you are currently consuming. By simply making a conscious effort based in goal setting to reduce the amount of food consumed on a daily basis, positive changes will begin to occur. This is a recipe for success.

The same applies to daily exercise regimens:

Failure Cycle - You need to exercise vigorously for at least an hour every day. Forget about it. Most people cannot go from an inactive lifestyle to vigorous exercise without failing in very short order.

Success Cycle - You need to increase your daily physical activity level gradually over a period of time based in goal setting. There are many simple ways to affect a moderate increase in physical activity on a daily basis. The simplest and least expensive is to walk. Make it fun and the odds of success become even greater!

Remember…together we can make a difference.

Important Note: This is a regular feature here at Canku Ota. If you have important information about health and wellness topics, let me know. If there is an upcoming event, let me know so that I can help get the word out. If you know of a great program, let me know that as well. This is a war and the enemy is ruthless. The enemy does not have a face and it does not have a conscious. How we got here has already happened and doesn't matter. How we save the people is all that matters now. Contact me via e-mail at

Geoff Hampton columns online: Columns Section Current Issue Section Library of Articles - Management Advice Online Column

Geoff Hampton's National Anti-Obesity/Diabetes Campaign Info

pictograph divider

Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!