UW Extension Recognizes Culturally Appropriate Efforts on the Wind River Indian Reservation | News

January 6, 2021

Creating culturally appropriate messaging for the Wind River Indian Reservation has helped improve nutrition and embrace healthier lifestyles, earning it Diversity Honors from the University of Wyoming Extension.

Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP) educators Kali McCrackin Goodenough, Kelly Pingree and Billie Spoonhunter received the Diversity Enhancement Award in December. CNP is a free cooking and nutrition education program in Wyoming that helps people cook and eat better for less money. The program is administered by UW Extension.

“I believe that the CNP has worked very hard with the Wind River Indian Reservation to meet the needs of Aboriginal people,” says nominator Rhonda Bowers, administrative assistant for the Wind River 4-H program. “NPC directs its marketing materials, billboards, flyers and recruitment to Aboriginal people by using Aboriginal dance, games and teachings to inspire adults and children to exercise more and promote a healthier lifestyle.

CNP provided education about the benefits of healthy eating, exercise and nutrition for at-risk students, says Glenda Mitchell, student attorney at Arapahoe School in Fremont County School District 38.

The program also provided education to a group of women on healthy eating, food safety, cooking classes and traditional recipes, and nutrition using indigenous customs and traditions from the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes, says Mitchell, who is also a certified addiction assistant with the wind. River Hotel & Casino Employee Assistance Wellness Program.

Traditional food video recipes incorporate wild meats, root vegetables, herbs and wild berries. The videos are local and anyone can access them, she says.

Mitchell also pointed to the “Move Your Way Every Day” poster campaign on the reservation, which featured John Pingree in a traditional dance. One billboard was south of Riverton and the other near Lander. The objective was to improve the general health of the residents.

“The dancer’s billboard with the message ‘Move Your Way Every Day’ was beautiful and touched a lot of Native people on the Wind River Indian Reservation,” says Mitchell. “NPC has really worked to include Indigenous peoples in its program and curriculum.

To learn more about the project and the Diversity Award, visit https://youtu.be/kgcHJmXKMY0.

Nohemi M. Moore