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The Healthy Native North Carolinians Network (HNNC) grew out partnerships formed during the American Indian Healthy Eating Project started in 2008 and continues to grow and work collaboratively to facilitate sustainable community changes around active living and healthy eating within American Indian tribes and urban Indian organizations in North Carolina.
Exciting news – We secured a $386,082 grant from the Winston-Salem-based Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to strengthen our network and provide direct support to tribally-led efforts to improve active living and healthy eating in American Indian communities in North Carolina!

Our report, Healthy Native North Carolinians:  Advancing Native health through community changes, capacity building, and collaborations, shares our story and showcases all the meaningful changes and collaborations that have been fostered through this innovative state-wide initiative.  Explore our report and the HNNC website to learn more about participating tribal communities’ community changes and to garner insights on the capacity building exercises utilized to foster these changes!

In January 2014, the American Indian Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill secured in excess of a quarter of a million dollars for another two years of funding from KBR to strengthen the HNNC network!
The HNNC network will focus on the following three components:
1) Support for Self-Determined Action Plans:  Financial support for self-determined initiatives enables communities to create and administer the change they wish to see in their communities.  Selected examples of self-determined HNNC supported activities thus far include the creation of community gardens, walking trails, annual 5Ks, farmers markets, fruits and vegetable powwow concessions.
2) Capacity-Building Consultations and Workshops:  The American Indian Center provides tailored technical assistance to Native community leaders in the development, implementation and evaluation of action plans and budgets to promote sustainable community change.  The American Indian Center also provides capacity-building workshops and webinars around community interests, needs and goals.
3) Cross-Community Collaborations:  HNNC Participants are encouraged to share their stories, challenges, cultures and successes at the annual capacity building workshop and by visiting other communities to learn and share with one another.
These efforts built on our initial grant with Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (July 2011 to June 2013) that was administered by the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs (“Commission”).  The Commission partnered with nine participating tribes and urban Indian organizations, along with a workshop development and evaluation assistance team at the American Indian Center and Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, both at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  The HNNC team also included Dr. Ronny Bell of Wake Forest School of Medicine Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, Tony V. Locklear of the Native American Interfaith Ministries (aka The Healing Lodge), and a a variety of other multidisciplinary advisors.
Check out our new video series, One Step At a Time, created by our Health Careers Connection Intern, Harley D. Locklear (Lumbee; Junior; Exercise & Sports Science Major).
Interested in learning more or helping to advance Native health?  Please contact Randi Byrd at 919-843-5927/

Illustration above by Blair Locklear