The Office of the First Ladys Lets Move! Initiative
and four federal agencies today launched Lets Move! in Indian
Country (LMIC). LMIC is an initiative to support and advance the work
that tribal leaders and community members are already doing to improve
the health of American Indian and Alaska Native children. As a part
of First Lady Michelle Obamas Lets Move! initiative, LMIC
brings together federal agencies, communities, nonprofits, corporate
partners and tribes to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in Indian
Country within a generation.
The LMIC initiative was launched today
at an event at the Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin where
Interior Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk
was joined by the Office of the First Lady Lets Move! Initiative
Executive Director Robin Schepper, White House Office of Public
Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs Associate Director Charlie
Galbraith, USDA Deputy Administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP) Lisa Pino, and IHS Director for Improving
Patient Care Program Lyle A. Ignace M.D., M.P.H. Also joining the
Administration officials were Actor Chaske Spencer from the Twilight
series, Nike N7 General Manager Sam McCracken and Nike N7 Fund Board
of Directors Ernie Stevens, as well as National Congress of American
Indians Board Secretary Matthew Wesaw, Wisconsin Department of Public
Instruction Consultant for Health and Physical Education John W.
Hisgen, and Menominee Tribal Chairman Randal Chevalier.
Through Lets Move! in Indian
Country we have an opportunity to engage Native communities, schools,
tribes, the private sector, and non-profits to work together to
tackle this issue head on, said First Lady Michelle Obama.
Tribes can sign up to become part of Lets Move! in Indian
Country, elders can mentor children about traditional foods and
the importance of physical activity, and families can incorporate
healthy habits like eating vegetables or participating in the Presidents
Active Lifestyle Award into their everyday life.
Interior is proud to partner with
our federal family in support of the First Ladys call to combat
childhood obesity in Indian Country, said Secretary of the
Interior Ken Salazar. Educating all youth about the benefits
of leading an active lifestyle and outdoor recreation is a vital
step in creating healthier communities and generations.
As the principal agency tasked with
protecting the health of all Americans, HHS is at the forefront
in tackling the growing epidemic of childhood obesity not only in
Indian Country, but also across the nation," said Health and
Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Working together
to help our children live more active lives is one of the biggest
steps we can take to improve our nation's health.
This is a special day for the Tribes
and for USDA. Lets Move in Indian Country, will help promote
healthy eating and physical activity among Native Americans and
is an important part of the effort to reduce teen and childhood
obesity, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Through
initiatives like Lets Move!, Fuel up to Play 60
and the Peoples Garden, the Obama administration is working
to get kids to become active and ensure they will have full, rich
and healthy lives.
Todays launch is a great example
of the positive change we can support in Indian Country. By bringing
together numerous government agencies, tribes, schools, communities
and the private sector to focus on the health and welfare of Indian
Country we can make a difference in the lives of Native youth and
families, Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk said. Menominee
is a powerful demonstration that we can all do our part to accomplish
We are absolutely honored to be
the launch site for this important national campaign for Indian
Country. I can attest that there is no better place for this initiative.
The Menominee Reservation ranks 72 out of 72 in health factors and
outcomes associated with high diabetes and heart disease rates,
said Chairman Chevalier. Becoming a healthier community starts
with our children, so I am delighted that we can address these issues
in such a comprehensive way.
Childhood obesity is a national health
crisis in America. Over the past three decades, rates of childhood
obesity in this country have tripled. Today, nearly one in three
children in the U.S. is overweight or obese. An equal proportionone
in threeof all children born after 2000 will suffer from diabetes
at some point in their livesan all-time high.
American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN)
children are twice as likely to be overweight than the general population.
These children make up the only racial or ethnic group whose obesity
rates increased between 2003 and 2008. The acute nature of this
problem in Indian Country warrants a targeted initiative like LMIC
to support culturally proficient strategies for ensuring access
to healthy food and prenatal services, implementing nutrition and
physical education programs, and engaging Native youth, parents,
and communities in active, healthy lifestyle choices.
LMIC has four main goals: (1) create a
healthy start on life for children, (2) create healthy learning
communities, (3) ensure families access to healthy, affordable,
traditional foods, and (4) increase opportunities for physical activity.
To accomplish these goals, Lets
Move! in Indian Country will:
Launch a new webpage and toolkit that
includes step-by-step assistance, resources and information for
schools, tribes and organizations on accessing federal programs
and grants to combat childhood obesity/diabetes in Indian Country
Certify all 14 federally run IHS obstetrics
facilities as Baby Friendly Hospitals by 2012.
Launch new on-line PSAs featuring Sam
Bradford, quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, and Tahnee Robinson,
the first female full-blood American Indian athlete to be drafted
to the Womens National Basketball Association. Both are Nike
N7 Athlete Ambassadors encouraging Native youth to lead healthy,
active lives. Nike N7 is Nike, Inc.s long-term commitment
and comprehensive program to bring access to sports to Native American
and Aboriginal communities. For more information, visit www.niken7.com
Issue the 25,000-person Presidential Active
Lifestyle Award (PALA) Challenge this summer in Indian Country.
Six thousand Native youth have already completed the challenge and
received a certificate from the Presidents Council on Fitness,
Sport and Nutrition. To learn more about the Challenge, visit www.presidentschallenge.org/lmic.
Announce a partnership between the Corporation
for National and Community Service (CNCS), USDAs Food and
Nutrition Services programs, the National Society for American Indian
Elderly, Boys and Girls Clubs in Indian Country, and Southwest Youth
Services to place 200 AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associations in Indian
Country to support LMIC implementation, positive youth development,
and healthy lifestyles in at least 15 states. In addition, CNCS,
with support from the Nike N7 Fund, will place full-time, year-long
AmeriCorps VISTA members with organizations promoting physical activity
and sport on Native lands.
Engage celebrity spokespersons in getting
out the message including, Sam Bradford (Cherokee Nation)* and Tahnee
Robinson (Northern Cheyenne)*, Chicago Bears player Levi Horn (Northern
Cheyenne)*, Olympic runner Alvina Begay (Navajo Nation)* and Twilight
film actor Chaske Spencer (Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort
Peck Indian Reservation). (*These spokespeople are also N7 athlete
Encourage 363 Just Move It
tribal partners to mobilize locally PALA walks, runs and other on-reservation
family-oriented activities across Indian Country.
Move! in Indian Country
Lets Move! in Indian Country is a comprehensive initiative
dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation,
so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue
their dreams. Sure, this is an ambitious goal. But with your help,
we can do it.
Nike N7 is our commitment to bring sport and all of its benefits
to Native American and Aboriginal communities in the USA and Canada.
Through activity, competition and play you can unleash the power
of your generation. You can grow up active and healthy. Sport gives
you self-confidence, enabling you to be a force for positive change
in your community.
Lets Move! in Indian Country!
Throughout the history of our Nation, Native communities have provided
some of the best examples of healthy lifestyles. To build on the
strength of this tradition, and to promote good nutrition and physical
activity across Indian Country, the Lets Move! in Indian Country
collaboration was formed as a part of First Lady Michelle Obamas
Lets Move! initiative.