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Whole Family Wellness


Let's start by having you introduce yourselves the way you would to a large group of people So I was born and raised in the area. That is now known as North Dakota. I'm from the Turtle Mountain Band of my Mom's side of the family. So I'm initial Bay and I'm Papa Lakota from the Standing Rock on my Dad's side of the family I lived on the East Coast for a number of years where I went to college at Dartmouth and I went to Grad School at Columbia University for Journalism and I am now the mom to a one year old and the partner to fashion. We live together in Phoenix Arizona where we run our our initiative called while for Culture. So wellness is my passion. I'm also a writer and a journalist but pretty much everything I do. Now is like health and family related Well softball scoop dodged everyone to the both of you and for those. That had a chance to me on. Yep Suga cash on knock to damage over jude are Choon. I'm from the Salt River. People around this area right here and Just happy to be here sup without the ATHOL AENA. Happy to be sitting here to be speaking with both of you. And it's awesome and you guys are one of our favorite podcasts and so we are just honored to be here and wanted to say thank you to the for the awesome work that you're doing with this in just around native country and the individual work you know we worked together. Matija in the past and I worked a little bit with us well at college horizon. So it's awesome to be here in this space to be able to be discussing more of these so very happy with that also work with the native Wellness Institute. I'm a board member there and I've been working with them now for about ten years now and Chelsea said one of the CO founders in our initiative that we call wealth for culture and and as Chelsea had said as well. Wellness is something. That's definitely my passion and the wellness that's rooted within our people and sexual ways. Yeah something that. I'm very passionate about and Just very Excited to try to share what little we know in this area of health and wellness as it pertains to family as you said and we know that that's a big part of of our communities you know it's it's the strong communities are built by our strong families and that's really the root of healing in the root of preserving and maintaining evolving. Our indigene are families and I think that's one of the most beautiful things we can put our energy and effort to especially in Mike this. You know when it's just we have so much going on and on world you know so my heart is full and I'm happy I you know I think the other thing. That's really cool. Is that you know you're a photographer. And you danced for years right with your work with Rohan long on the street. Dance B boy crews and stuff Yeah I didn't think about that what I think about this work. You do too because it's kind of like you know this evolution of becoming these. These people like Chelsea talks about you know going to Dartmouth and Columbia and becoming a journalist and and then you yourself. It's like being a photographer and working in industry and it takes so many different skills to put out content on a regular basis. And you know you to have been developing those skills for a really long time so maybe we could start just having you talk a little about the origins of welfare culture. And and your purpose and what that means to you individually. Well we founded in twenty fourteen shortly after I met. Actually we both were on our own individual healing and wellness journeys And we came together as friends and we did this cool photo. Shoot Auch Photograph me as it was at the time we were calling it like an urban warrior kind of thing but it was just this really cool fitness that we did in your city but meanwhile we were having all these conversations talking about how you know healthy. Lifestyles really are congruent. With our ancestral ways. Both of us were raised in ceremony. But both of us also kind of went the wayside with that a little bit You know during our teens and twenties and you know moving away both both of us moving away from our reservoirs and into cities and kind of just exploring the world and but eventually coming full circle back to that and so it was really cool because I connected as friends through that shared passion for connecting wellness with with our culture. At the time. We realized that there wasn't a lot of imagery of healthy active strong native people and we wanted to change that and so we co founded while for culture and it started as a website and an instagram and facebook page and then it quickly grew into basically this consulting business in Marietta. Other things that we do as well. Yeah we got together because like Jesse had said she was doing journalism. And as you'd mentioned I was doing photography and I after a while. I really wanted to start to kind of help. Help help with the movement that that you're contributing to your work is just to help to portray this our image. You know what I mean that we do have in our communities that often doesn't portrayed in so we started really like she said delve into that and we started really looking at it. And you know I was coming from a perspective of coming. From my community where diabetes obesity cardiovascular heart disease is really super high high in comparison to the non native people that are live on the border. Just a couple miles away you know. The life expectancy is just the gap between is is insane and so I was coming from from that perspective. That how we need to we need to really reclaim our health. And we need to put our health for first and foremost in our diginity to continue on and for me it was it was it was moved my body exercising and training and Alice really trying to draw those connections between that in and being a part of the community and We share a lot. Two of my personal observation is that I watched the the the the the community. I guess involvement and ceremonial things that bring wellness and love and happiness declined because of poor health. People can't show up so I just got really driven on this. This thing like you know we need to. We need to reclaim our health. In whatever way that is for people you know for me was exercising and know trend to really strengthen my relationship to food and so we got together and we start man this is. There's so much more than just you know putting out an image of somebody working out and trying to encourage and motivate people. That's a big part of it. You know but there's certainly a lot more to it so you know. We delved into it to try to create more of a wellness model. That was kind of rooted in in a lot of our cultural values and just kind of going around native country with my work. With Native Wellness Institute the Focus was always on on for sure was pinpointing historic trauma was healing but we didn't see the inclusion a lot of bringing a healthy lifestyle once again. It's as far as physical health. Bring our foods right back into the conversation healing or bringing movement and into the conversation. We're really seeing that so much too and I think that that's sort of like our generations contribution like it's what we're doing this all of us living here now so we really kind of just tried to go forward with that and develop it over the years and later on we became a family and and we realized that everything we were we were coming up with in creating and learning about and putting into practice and sharing about and doing workshops and trainings on was. We're things that we have this opportunity now to live that into model that and to to show that and I think that that's one of the most powerful things we can do is just model that you know model that that that wellness of that. Good life for all of our families to see you know. We're we're strengthening that spirit of wellness step brings families together increase healing once again to you know when when anyone participates in that and so and so you know. That's that's how we got to where we are with it today and as you said now we are really you know as a young family moving forward with that

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