UW Extension recognizes nutritional efforts on Wind River Reservation

(Wind River Reservation, WY) – Creating culturally appropriate messages for the Wind River Reservation has helped boost better nutrition and healthier lifestyles, earning diversity honors from the University of Wyoming Extension.

Cent$ible Nutrition Program educators Kelly Pingree, Kali McCrackin Goodenough, and Billie Spoonhunter received the Diversity Enhancement Award in December. CNP is a free, income-qualifying cooking and nutrition education program in Wyoming that aims to help people cook and eat better for less money. The program is administered through the University of Wyoming Extension.

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“I believe CNP has worked very hard with the Wind River Reservation to fit the needs of the native people,” said Rhonda Bowers, administrative assistant for the Wind River 4-H program, in her nomination.

“CNP gears their marketing materials, billboards, pamphlets, and recruitment to the native people using native dancing, games, and teaching to get adults and children to exercise more and to promote a healthier lifestyle,” she said.

CNP provided education on the benefits of a healthy diet, exercise, and nutrition for at-risk students, said Glenda Michell, student advocate for the Arapahoe School in Fremont County School District 38.

The program also provided education for a women’s group on healthy diet, food safety, cooking lessons and traditional recipes and nutrition through using native customs and traditions of the Shoshone and Arapahoe tribes, said Mitchell, who is also a certified addiction practitioner assistant with the Wind River Casino Employee Assistance Wellness Program.

The video recipes of traditional foods incorporate wild meats, root vegetables, herbs and wild berries. The videos are local and anyone can access, she said.

She also highlighted the “Move your way every day” billboard campaign on the reservation, which featured John Pingree in a traditional dance. One billboard was south of Riverton and the other near Lander.

The goal was to raise the overall health of residents.

“The billboard of the dancer with the message ‘Move your way every day’ was beautiful and touched a lot of native people on the Wind River Reservation,” said Mitchell. “CNP has really worked to include the native peoples into their program and curriculum.”

More about the project and diversity award is shared in the video below.

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