Tribal communities in Minnesota are working with SHIP to improve health by elevating cultural
wisdom and initiating engagement across generations.
Efforts focus on increasing opportunities for healthy food access and physical activity, with strategies
that are tailored to tribal needs and culture. Those strategies use culture as a bridge for health and
healing, integrating traditional activities, teachings, and ceremonies.
Despite the adversity that Native people in the United States face, indigenous cultural knowledge and
resiliency remain intact in Minnesota communities. Through Tribal SHIP, innovative and culturally
appropriate strategies are being used to advance health equity; native people have some of the
lowest health outcomes in the state.
Healthy food access and knowledge of traditional indigenous food are pressing issues in tribal
communities. Food insecurity, poverty, and diet-related disease disproportionately affect native
people compared to Minnesota’s general population. Preserving and reclaiming food systems is
critical. Understanding the roles of sovereignty, culturally-based approaches to strengthening
community food practices and strategies for conveying traditional knowledge are important.
The rapid change from physically active lifestyles to more sedentary ones has also had a serious effect on
the health of American Indians. Traditional lifestyles allowed for greater energy expenditure from
physical labor through daily activities such as hunting, fishing, ricing and agricultural work, as well as
recreational activities, such as lacrosse and stickball and participating in pow wows.
Tribal SHIP strategies designed to increase the availability of and access to physical activity include:
Tribal SHIP strategies designed to increase the availability of and access to healthy and indigenous foods
The Bois Forte Reservation is located in northern Minnesota in Koochiching and St. Louis counties, approximately 40 miles south of the Canadian border. Tribal headquarters are located in Nett Lake.
Supported a collaboration with the culture and language programs, which has involved
integrating traditional and local food work into programming such as duck cleaning, maple sugar
camps and gathering high bush cranberries
13071 Nett Lake Road, Suite B
Nett Lake, MN 55772