The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) announced February 9 that it will participate in the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) Challenge inspired by the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation, according to The Cherokee One Feather. Levi Horn, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, professional football player with the Chicago Bears, and representative of Nike’s programs for Native American and aboriginal communities, called Nike N7, will be the face of this program.
“As a Native American, with most of my family coming from the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, I’ve personally witnessed the effects of childhood obesity on my community,” Horn said. “I am encouraged by the efforts of the Bureau of Indian Education in fostering healthy lifestyles through the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, and hope that my story will be an inspiration to Native students around the country.”
According to Letsmove.gov, the obesity rate for American Indian and Alaska Native children is close to 50 percent. To combat that, BIE has set forth these goals for schools to complete in eight weeks: Each person involved will commit to participating in some form of physical activity five days a week, for six out of eight weeks; participants under 18 have to complete 60 minutes of activity and adults have to complete 30 minutes. At the end of the eight-week program anyone who is successful will receive a special presidential award.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our schools to participate in a positive and inspirational event,” BIE Director Keith Moore said in the press release. “I believe that physical fitness is a key component to a happy, successful life and I hope that the BIE schools and the PALA coordinators will help lead the way in Indian country to provide an example for all of our communities to follow.”