American Indian Health And Family Services – Sacred Roots Food Sovereignty & Wellness Programs
American Indian Health and Family Services has been providing comprehensive, culturally integrated services to the Detroit, MI, area since 1978. The Sacred Roots program uses the traditions and wisdom of ancestors to help build a legacy of food sovereignty and wellness in the Southeastern Michigan community. This project focuses on community engagement in a unified effort to build healthier relationships, habits, and environments. The Community Advisory Council helps to increase people’s voice and actions in AIHFS programming and services, including the Sacred Roots Program. The Food Sovereignty and Wellness Programs are comprised of various projects including policy and environmental change efforts, a community garden, cooking classes, and traditional exercise opportunities. The community garden ultimately makes it easier for people to connect with traditional foods and utilize these foods for traditional teachings and ceremonies. The cooking classes aid in the development of new, innovative ways to integrate traditional fruits and vegetables in everyday diets. Alongside this knowledge, the program shares tips with community members for making healthy eating easier and more affordable. Emphasizing the importance of remaining healthy and strong, alongside an adequate diet, the Sacred Roots program also creates space and opportunities for exercise. This incorporates traditional Native American dance, gardening, and other forms of physical activity in an effort to promote whole-person wellness. Alongside the Sacred Roots Food Sovereignty and Wellness Programs, AIHFS also provides medical, behavioral health, infant and parent support, youth programs, cultural services, leadership development, and benefits assistance services to those involved.
Population Served: Urban Natives
Scope of Work: Increases healthy food, Increases access to traditional food, Develops skills and opportunities for tribal community members, Improves viability of local agriculture, Improves policies that promote healthy food and healthy communities, Provides nutrition education to community members, Provides healthcare services to community members, Improves health outcomes for community members, Builds community assets