Start Date: February 2016

ID #: 73390

Principal Investigator: Janie Hipp, JD, LLM

Co-Principal Investigator: Crystal Echo Hawk, MA

Organization: University of Arkansas

Funding Round: Round 9

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This project will examine the linkages between tribal government food policies and tribal community health, with a focus on the impact of food policy on obesity prevention among children and adolescents and the promotion of healthy eating. This project aims to study and report on three primary issues: 1) tribal communities’ use of food sovereignty assessments as a means to analyze their current and historic food systems and food history; 2) federal feeding programs within tribal communities including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; and 3) laws and policies enacted by tribal governments that would support, enhance, or sustain future healthy food systems in Indian Country. For selected tribal governments, a comprehensive legal analysis will be conducted of laws and policies related to food, health, nutrition, and food access. In addition, research will be conducted on the selected tribes’ relationship with foods, including traditional foods, access to foods, and historical accounts of the tribes’ relationship to food sources. The overarching goal of the project is to document and convey representative stories of tribes within each region of the country. This mapping of information will assist other tribes by providing a comprehensive tool to inform tribally-led policy analysis and a more culturally appropriate means by which healthy food policies can lead to a new culture of health.

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