2015 NB3 Foundation Annual Report 10th Anniversary Edition


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2015 Annual Report, 10th Anniversary Edition, Notah Begay III Foundation

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This year we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary! I am humbled by the outstanding performance of our staff as well as the success and recognition we’ve received for our work. The Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation has also been equally motivated by the challenges we’ve experienced throughout the ten years of serving Native American youth. Together since our founding in 2005 and with our partners, we have: • • • Invested $1.8 million in 50 Native communities and tribes; Invested $7 million in direct service programming; and Supported and served over 25,000 Native youth. A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER As we celebrate these accomplishments, we know that the fight is far from over. Childhood obesity among Native children remains one of the most critical of issues facing all of Indian Country. This first phase of our work represents a “call to action” because we understand that we cannot do this work alone. It will require every family, community and tribe to make the health of our children a priority in order to properly ensure their dreams are protected. On behalf of the entire organization, I thank you for the past 10 years of support and ask you to stand alongside us for next 10! Notah Begay III Founder Diné /San Felipe and Isleta Pueblos 3


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MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NEW BEGINNINGS AND FRESH STARTS ARE GREAT! NB3 Foundation welcomes new executive director Justin Kii Huenemann. New beginnings and fresh starts are great! Since assuming the helm in early 2015, I have been on a whirlwind pace of learning, moving, and doing – with a strong emphasis on learning. Like many, I was not fully aware of or awake to the complexity and severity of childhood obesity in Indian Country. The fact of the matter is we have an epidemic on our hands and the impending health-related consequences from this epidemic will severely affect all of Indian Country. Given this, I would like to deviate from a typical glowing annual report letter and share with you some candid thoughts and reflections. Over the past year, several national reports have indicated a slight decline in national childhood obesity rates. While this is promising news, unfortunately, the opposite is true for Native American youth and children. In fact the rates of childhood obesity among Native children and youth remain at crisis levels. For just a moment, take in the fact that 1 out of 2 Native children born after 2000 are projected to develop type 2 diabetes. This is absolutely unacceptable. But it is also absolutely reversible. Today, 33 percent of Native people in the United States are under the age of 18, compared to only 24 percent of the total population who are under the age of 18. The median age for American Indians and Alaska Natives on reservations is 26, compared to 37 for the entire nation. In other words, Indian Country today is young. That’s great. But now we need to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to live inspired lives and meet their full potential. A first step is to educate ourselves and families about the issues and realities of childhood obesity. Understandably, direct and open conversations about obesity with family members or relatives can be difficult and often avoided. We all have relatives who are overweight and we most likely have family members with type 2 diabetes, making this subject the ugly elephant in the room. Nevertheless, we need to make this a central and repeating conversation in our families and communities. The next step is to further invest in preventative strategies that directly target 4


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Native youth and are Native-led. We must go beyond viewing this issue as simply a public health challenge. We must also understand and view this issue from an economic development perspective, a workforce perspective, a tribal sovereignty perspective and the list goes on. Having thriving and economically strong tribes and communities requires having healthy tribal citizens – and we all know this simply does not happen on its own. Together, we must be intentional with our investment and deliberate in our action. The good news is a groundswell of energy and effort is taking place all over the country. Over the past two years, NB3 Foundation has had the distinct pleasure of working with and investing in 57 Native-led organizations that work directly in communities to reverse childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes among Native children and youth. They are on the frontlines, working with shoestring budgets, committed to ensuring Native young people have the support and opportunity to grow up and become healthy, productive adults. NB3 Foundation’s first 10 years have been a wonderful journey. It has grown from a humble vision to support Native youth to a full-force nonprofit dedicated to reducing childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes among Native American children. Now we turn our attention to the next 10 years. We look forward to strengthening our support of Native-led efforts and to making a positive difference in the lives of young people. Thank you to all of our partners, supporters and allies. Together we will reverse this epidemic and ensure our most precious resource is protected. Sincerely, JUSTIN KII HUENEMANN Executive Director Diné /German 5


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2014-2015 A YEAR IN REVIEW AUGUST 2014 Notah Begay III hosted the seventh annual NB3 Challenge Golf Tournament raising dollars to support NB3 Foundation. Team International captured the 2014 NB3 Challenge victory at Turning Stone Casino’s Atunyote Golf Club in Verona, NY. AUGUST 2014 NB3 Foundation recognized Keith Anderson of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) with the second annual Oneida Indian Nation Health Champion for Native Children Award. SEPTEMBER 2014 NB3 Foundation awarded more than $400,000 in grants to its second cohort of Promising Programs grantees or through its national program, Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures. NB3 Foundation celebrated and honored Notah Begay Jr. for his service to the Notah Begay III Foundation. NOVEMBER 2014 DECEMBER 2014 NB3 Foundation awarded $138,000 in grants to its second cohort of Capacity Building grantees through its national program, Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures. JANUARY 2015 NB3 Foundation welcomed new Executive Director, Justin Kii Huenemann. FEBRUARY 2015 NB3 Foundation, in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal, released new national public service announcement (PSA) to help champion kids’ health. FEBRUARY 2015 NB3 Foundation co-hosted with Ogallala Commons and First Nations Development Institute the Native Youth Leaders: Revitalizing and Embracing Wellness Through Food gathering at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM. Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community awarded a $1.1 million grant to NB3 Foundation to improve Native American childhood nutrition through its new national campaign, Seeds of Native Health. MARCH 2015 MAY 2015 NB3 Foundation’s Native Strong hosted the second annual Grantee Gathering in Albuquerque, NM with over 100 participants including grantees, funders, content experts, and young people. JUNE 2015 NB3 Foundation co-hosted the second annual Rio Grande Charity Slam golf tournament raising over $100,000 for the NativeFIT program and the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Albuquerque. 6


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NATIVE FIT DIRECT YOUTH SERVICE NativeFIT, NB3 Foundation’s direct youth service program, promotes healthy, active living among Native youth through obesity prevention activities and youth leadership development opportunities. NativeFIT utilizes sports, namely golf and soccer, to instill lifeskills training, healthy-living habits, and physical movement. NativeFIT provides Native youth with access and opportunities to sports not readily accessed by Native Americans. PARTICIPANT SPOTLIGHT: Mia Freeland is an 8th grader who attends and plays on the varsity golf team at Sandia Preparatory School in Albuquerque, NM. Mia has participated in the NB3 Foundation Junior Golf program since 2012. Through the years, Mia has progressed in every aspect of the game of golf thanks to her hard work and determination. Through her consistent involvement, Mia has gained confidence in her game that allows her to compete at the varsity level in several tournaments year-round with high school students. As an 8th grader, playing varsity is a huge challenge that we know Mia is ready for. We look forward to watching her accomplish great things in life and in her golf career. Way to go Mia! NB3 FOUNDATION JUNIOR GOLF The NB3 Foundation Junior Golf is a component of NativeFIT. Junior Golf works to shape the lives of young people by teaching them the fundamentals of the golf and its game. We teach life lessons and leadership skills through golf and the important values of integrity, respect, hard work and perseverance. Youth learn core values that they can use both on the golf course and in life. 7


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NATIVE STRONG: HEALTHY KIDS, HEALTHY FUTURES Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures is NB3 Foundation’s national program focused on reversing Native American childhood obesity and diabetes through four core functions – collaboration, strategic grantmaking, knowledge building and capacity building. Critical to and integrated across each of these core functions are research and evaluation, policy, advocacy and communication. Native Strong supports Native-led organizations that are working to improve the health of their community and children. This includes supporting community health assessments, community convenings that mobilize action, nutrition education and physical activity programming, policy development, and system and environmental strategies to sustain their work. 8


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2015 CAPACITY BUILDING GRANTEE HIGHLIGHT Sacramento (California) Native American Health Center, Inc. (SNAHC) is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) federally qualified health center and a 2015 Capacity Building grantee. SNAHC shares their success using talking circles to influence adopting healthy habits among families they serve. Here is their story in their own words: Our project has the potential to affect obesity and diabetes prevention by inciting a conversation and initiating a new storyline. This project has initiated a public discussion into the heart of our regional Native community. By collaborating with a large group and engaging a large number of families, we can generate a movement. Bringing families from a variety of tribal entities and sharing stories are preserving cultural practices. Sharing meals and words as a family unit and passing along healthy habits are preserving beliefs and values. Finally, generating creative solutions specific to our community is strengthening the possibility for long-lasting change. Stacy Aguilar and her three children Jonny (8), Aiyana (12) and Lilyana (7) Mendoza attended the talking circle at the Elk Grove Indian Education program on May 11th. Stacy’s children “enjoyed sharing stories about eating healthy and preparing foods that they like.” Stacy keeps her children active playing 10


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sports, playing in the park and swimming as often as possible. As a mother, she knows that being American Indian is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, so she is interested in teaching them to eat well and stay physically active. Her SACRAMENTO NATIVE AMERICAN HEALTH, INC. children are most looking forward to growing their own food and having a garden in the future. Yolanda Loera and her children Donnell (12), Deyonnie (11) and Donyay (9) attended the talking circle at the Sacramento chapter of Fatherhood Is Sacred on May 21st. Yolanda has been diagnosed as “pre-diabetic” and has a family history of type 2 diabetes. As a mother, she struggles with preparing vegetables in a way that are appealing to her children. Her favorite thing about our talking circle was discovering that her children love raw zucchini. She is looking forward to learning more healthy recipes and tips for cooking vegetables. She is appreciative that SNAHC enforces its healthy food policy; it gives her the opportunity to “try different foods” than she usually would. Her children are most looking forward to learning to cook and try a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. “Our project has the potential to affect obesity and diabetes prevention by inciting a conversation and initiating a new storyline.” 11


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2015 PROMISING PROGRAM GRANTEE HIGHLIGHT The Ft. Defiance Indian Health Board, a nonprofit incorporated under the Navajo Nation in Arizona, oversees the tribal Tséhootsooí Medical Center (TMC). Here in the heart of the Navajo Nation, you will meet participants of the TMC Nutrition Department’s Fit Families program and hear how this program impacts their health in their own words. Sahale James has been a participant since Fit Families began in 2012. Since then, he has participated in each component of Fit Families including visits to our staffed pediatrician and registered dieticians. During one program series, he had to attend afterschool tutoring but was very diligent to get to Fit Families after tutoring even if only for one of the two hour program sessions. Sahale is now in fifth grade and within a two-year time span we have seen him grow! As Sahale gained nutrition and physical activity knowledge, he can incorporate mathematics and nutrition together. He is an asset in class and helps other participants if they need extra help with nutrition assignments. FT. DEFIANCE INDIAN HEALTH BOARD 12


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“My children and I speak the same healthy living “lingo” and we are more aware of fats, calories, and stressors. Overall, I’ve learned to cook and to have fun!” - Leandra J. “My children understand what healthy living is. The lessons they learned at Fit Family-Active Play and cooking class were instrumental for my children to hear and learn from others. The examples that were shared in class brought home the message for my children. It has made a huge impact on how we look at food. I learned about cooking, learned to stay healthy and fit, and I’m proud I lost some weight! We eat in moderation and we always check each other on what we eat and how much. My children and I speak the same healthy living “lingo” and we are more aware of fats, calories, and stressors. Overall, I’ve learned to cook and to have fun! - Leandra J. (Parent Participant) Meet Gabriella Benally, who prefers to be called Gabby. Gabby is now in fourth grade. We met Gabby two years ago when her mother, Daphina, was the school nurse. Daphina enrolled immediately upon learning about Fit Families. Since meeting them both, they have gained new knowledge of nutrition. Gabby has since recruited her friends to join Fit Families. Her bright smile and enthusiasm brings delight in class. “Eating habits have changed, I’m now more aware of healthy food. My child reminds me to buy healthy food. My child knows more about choosing healthy foods and portion size. We don’t eat as much as before.” - Daphina S. (Parent Participant) 13


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NATIONAL PHILANTHROPIC PARTNER HIGHLIGHT The success of NB3 Foundation is directly linked to our partners. This year, we are honored to highlight and acknowledge our key funding and action ally – the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Once again the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC), a sovereign Indian tribe, has exemplified national leadership and generosity with their new national campaign, Seeds of Native Health. This campaign aims to encourage broader strategies and investments to improve Native American nutrition. Understanding that extreme poverty, loss of traditional foods, and poor nutrition have contributed to profound health problems among Native Americans, SMSC has committed $5 million to help identify and support solutions. 14


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“This campaign aims to encourage broader strategies and investments to improve Native American nutrition.” Through a circle of initial national partners, including NB3 Foundation, Seeds of Native Health works to support and learn from existing efforts already being done to improve Native American nutrition and to help develop comprehensive strategies that may not exist today. NB3 Foundation is grateful for SMSC’s leadership, courage and their long-standing tradition of helping others. This year we honor our national partner, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community! (For more information about Seeds of Native Health, please visit http://seedsofnativehealth.org.) 15



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