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An essential ingredient to the American Indian Healthy Eating Project was the support and participation of the tribal leaders and community stakeholders.

Modified Talking Circles

Our paper entitled, “Engaging tribal leaders in an American Indian Healthy Eating Project through modified Talking Circles,” explains how the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs was a tremendous community advisor.  The Commission advocated for the use of Talking Circles to begin our partnership building process with each of the participating tribes.  These modified Talking Circles helped:

  • Built trust
  • Identified food sources
  • Described facilitators
  • Described barriers
  • Discussed next steps

Community on Community Change

Preliminary findings from the modified Talking Circles (n=7, 33 participants) and key informant interviews (n=40) provided invaluable perspectives on how to utilize Native traditions and tribal leaders to improve access to healthy eating within American Indian communities in North Carolina.  The process and perspectives garnered are described in our paper entitled:  “Tools for Healthy Tribes:  Improving access to healthy foods in Indian Country” and include the importance of:

  • Revitalizing traditional ways
  • Empowering Tribal Council & community stark plugs
  • Using intergenerational approaches
  • Facilitating economic development
  • Addressing historical trauma
  • Organizing American Indian community

Please contact if interested in a copy of our modified Talking Circle protocol or key informant interview guides.