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The Sicangu CDC Health Initiative educates and empowers the Oyate to take their health into their own hands.
We partner with local schools to work with students to help them develop essential social skills that will help them be successful.
We host holistic wellness camps that include fun, engaging activities that also support the physical, spiritual, and emotional wellness of Lakota youth.
Woyute ki Pejuta Waste Heca (“Food as Good Medicine”) is a nutrition and wellness coaching program that seeks to help community members overcome their health challenges and live a healthier lifestyle. This program is our innovative, holistic take on food prescription.
We provide health education programs for both youth and adults. Our online health classes include courses on health advocacy, nutrition, and more.
We helped 40 families start their own home garden in 2021, and will continue to offer this service in the future.
Our team participates in and coordinates opportunities throughout the year that promote better health outcomes. One example is buffalo harvest and distribution of meat to the community.
We supported an art challenge with Todd County 3rd-to-5th graders focusing on illustrating how students coped with the challenges of the past year.
The goal of this art challenge was to help get students thinking about mental health: how it is important, and how we can better sustain it. Students have shared their artwork with you, the community. Please take time to enjoy this art, and have conversations with your families about the importance of mental health and wellbeing.
Coincidentally, the health initiative was launched in early 2020. While the vision for our work is centered around long-term, systemic change, we quickly realized the need to shift to immediate COVID response and relief.
The initiative has worked toward COVID-19 relief, through actions such as distributing sovereignty kits to tribal citizens, which contained cloth face masks created by local entrepreneurs, a thermometer with 100 probe covers, seed packets, gardening tools (such as a shovel, rake, and hoe), bulk dry foods (oatmeal, rice, beans, cranberries and almonds), Lakota coloring books with crayons, an electronic tablet (for participation in online classes), and a gift card to Turtle Creek (a local grocery store). These kits provided not only short-term relief, but also the tools for long-term independence.
Additionally, the SCDC Health Initiative was awarded funding from the WEND Collective to distribute 500 Health Kits to Elders, alongside resources for further COVID-19 relief programming. These Elder Kits contained a thermometer, Vitamin C gummies, face masks, a $25 gift card to Turtle Creek (a local grocery store), seed packets for gardening, and hand sanitizer. Our SCDC Americorps VISTAs and four high school youth volunteers assembled the kits.
The Health Initiative, too, partnered with the Tribe’s Elderly Nutrition Program to distribute the kits via contactless delivery across 20 communities. Additionally, over $60,000 in grocery gift cards were distributed to families in need.
We have always worked as part of a holistic ecosystem with a shared mission and shared values, but now we are making the relationship between our organizations more explicit and intentional. Learn more by visiting our new website. This website will remain active in the short term, but will be phased out in the coming months.