to Well For Culture.
In the Indigenous world, there is a beautiful and powerful movement
taking place. It is a movement toward improved health, community
wellness, spiritual health and mental strength. We are witnessing
the development of revolutionary Indigenized fitness concepts, and
a return to ancestral foods. It is an exciting time.
Acknowledging that our communities have, in many ways, been
largely unwell for a century or so, the youth from all nations are
now doing something about it. This is potentially a watershed moment
for the peoples of the tribes of the Americas. This is perhaps that
moment the people will look back on and say, "that is when our communities
We see it in organizations like the Native Wellness Institute.
We wear it on our sleeves via Nike N7. We post about it on Facebook
pages like Healthy Active Natives. We hashtag it #indigefit on Instagram.
Little by little, but at an increasingly rapid pace, our people
are taking pride in and reclaiming ownership of our inherent athletic
abilities and knack for harvesting, hunting and preparing natural,
Families, individuals, networks and nations are coming together
to support one another in living well.
Western civilization influenced us to build false yet alarmingly
sturdy walls between formerly fluid components of healthy living.
This led to the degradation of our healthy Indigenous minds. Our
people are now tearing those walls down. Once again, we are drawing
strength from our mental, physical, spiritual and emotional selves,
fully understanding and remaining aware that ultimately, these facets
of life are inseparable. Soon, we will forget about those walls.
Our children will never know they existed.
Without realizing it, I joined this wellness movement several
years ago when I became dedicated to fitness. Through these interests
in Indigenous wellness, I connected with two people who have since
become close friends: Martin Sensmeier and Thosh Collins. We came
up with the name "Well For Culture" because we believe it describes
the essence of the movement: being well and being about the culture
are one in the same. Well For Culture.
While we are working on several projects under the Well For
Culture theme, the idea to write this column came about. You can
now expect to see this column every Friday. Each week, I will feature
new ideas, people, places, or events related to Indigenous health,
fitness, athletics, foods, and everything else related to health
this introduction to my column, I'd like to offer an invitation.
If you know about somebody or have heard about something going on
related to Indigenous health and wellness, and you think I should
write about it, I'd love to hear your ideas. Please feel free to
e-mail or tweet at me. Join us in promoting an image of positive,
strong, healthy Native people. Because that is who we really are.
Chelsey Luger is Anishinaabe and Lakota from North Dakota. She
hopes to be a strong link in a long chain of ancestors and descendants
by spreading ideas for health and wellness. Follow her on Twitter
@CPLuger. Ideas for articles?
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.