Lessons from the ‘Bucket Brigade:’ Using social ecology and empowerment models to address nutritional education and


  • Michèle Companion


A pilot program to address some cultural and economic barriers to better health among low income Native Americans living in urban areas has been developed in conjunction with Indian Centers. Teaching components focus on access to nutritional, non-processed food and herbs. The program takes a social empowerment approach, providing tools for greater control over salt and fat intake. The model extends to cultural continuance by connecting container gardens to traditional spiritual practices. Exit interviews indicate a reconnection with traditional practices as a result of being able to grow “clean” religious resources. Cultural knowledge is passed on to children in the form of stories and demonstrations at home.


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