The wellbeing of our Upper Lake Tribal family has always been a concern as we have seen the devastating impact of unhealthy lifestyles. Native Americans are two times more likely to become diabetic than Caucasians and as a result, the Habematolel Pomo Tribe endeavors to promote healthy living in all facets of life. When we live according to health-giving principles and discipline, there’s no limiting our reach.
We’ve been able to encourage healthy habits in a tangible way through one of our more recent endeavors: our Community Garden, established in 2015. We grow organic fruits and vegetables and get everyone involved with children’s programs to learn about horticulture and a farmer’s market for adults to peruse. Our connection to the land, and the great benefits produced by it, are illustrated perfectly through the sustenance we grow and share in our garden.
We’re also proud of our youngest members who stay healthy in body and mind through sports, a great way to not only stay fit but also forge leadership skills, teamwork ability, and lifelong friendships. We’re wrapping up the season of basketball, soccer and gymnastics and readying ourselves for baseball, softball, and track. These athletics give us a shared sense of accomplishment to tout our talented youth and enable our kids to make healthy choices at an early age. We aim to give them the tools to maintain those good habits as they grow older.
Good health comes not only from nutrition and activity, but a healthy mind as well. We proudly encourage all of our members to achieve all they can in life, and our Seven Generations Scholarship Fund help all qualifying tribal members make that dream possible. We’ve always been strong advocates of education as an engine for success, and with our help, disadvantaged friends have that chance as well.
We also encourage our tribal members to educate themselves on the options available to them through the Indian Health Service, a Federal agency dedicated to the unique issues facing Native American citizens of all ages. The Lake County Tribal Health Consortium, of which we are proud participants, is registered with the service and participates in medical and educational initiatives aimed at improving life for all Native Americans in the Lake County area. Programs and care for patients of all ages are made available through this collaboration.
Programs closer to home are also a great source of health and safety-related resources. We’ve recently shared a $1,000 gift with local law enforcement’s child safety programs via the National Child Safety Council, an advocacy group which shares our cause of child safety through stronger community.
Healthy Living is exercised in a variety of ways with the choices we make. We understand firsthand how advantageous a strong body and mind are for a long, prosperous life. With good health in hand, achieving our dreams is only a matter of legwork.