Healthy Village Challenge

Written by Renee Grounds & Jiles Pourier on .

Igiugig Healthy village challenge participants

The Healthy Village Challenge wrapped up on June 8th with the awards ceremony held at Aquivik (‘the place to be active’). Over 30 local participants, ages 6 to 69 were awarded certificates, t-shirts, and prizes. Most participants lost between 5 and 15 pounds.

Jiles included subsistence foods on the t-shirt design (moose, caribou, goose, and salmon) to represent the importance of eating these healthy foods and getting in shape for subsistence activities. Part of the purpose behind the Healthy Village Challenge was to help us make a strong and injury-free transition from winter to summer when the fishing season and other subsistence activities pick up.

We held a healthy foods potluck during the awards ceremony with lots of homemade delicacies, such as hummus, quinoa and lentil soup, salmon, kale, and wild rice. Following the awards, we screened Crooked Arrows, an inspirational Native film about a Haudenosaunee lacrosse team that regains its pride by embracing its language, culture, and history. The sport of lacrosse is based on a traditional game played by many Native Americans.

The Igiugig Healthy Village Challenge was one of five grant proposals funded by the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP). The four others were the Ho-Chunk Nation, Absentee Shawnee Tribe, the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, and the Sacramento Native American Health Center.

We collected participant feedback during the awards ceremony to include in our presentation at the AAIP 44th Annual Meeting & National Health Conference coming up next month in Tulalip, WA. These were some of the comments:

“The Aquivik provides all the tools I need to workout without having to worry about the bugs, or getting dust in my lungs”

“The new look and feel makes me want to workout everyday! Its great!”

“Excellent workout environment on great equipment”

“We started group workouts that keep us motivated”

“the Aquivik has ‘jump started’ my workouts again”

“The fitness space was transformed. It is now a place I want to go to and visit regularly. I lost 10 pounds and want to keep going!”

We appreciate everyone’s participation in the Healthy Village Challenge. Stay healthy and active, Igiugig!