A $75,500 grant from the Nisqually Indian Tribe will help fund the ongoing outreach work of the Northwest Indian College Traditional Plants and Foods Program.
Now in its fifth year, the program re-introduces Indians in Washington State to the Coast Salish diet to improve their health. The program, which serves 2,500 youth and elders annually, promotes lifestyle changes based on cultivating and harvesting traditional foods and plants, and returning to more customary, healthy diets.
Program activities include workshops on the benefits of using traditional foods and plants; culturally relevant wellness activities based on traditional foods, mentoring and workshops to increase the number of community educators; and traditional food and harvest festivals.
The program also conducts research on access to traditional foods and healthy food behaviors on the Lummi Reservation; assists the Northwest Indian Treatment Center, a 45-day residential recovery program in Elma, Washington; and is developing a traditional Plants and Foods Program website for participants and community health educators.
The grant was funded by the Nisqually Indian Tribe Charitable Fund, which uses 1 to 2 percent of Nisqually’s net gaming revenue to support charities, community service, education, literacy and public safety.