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UW Extension Recognizes Culturally Appropriate Efforts on Wind River Indian Reservation

January 6, 2021
Kali McCrackin Goodenough, Kelly Pingree and Billie Spoonhunter

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

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

“I believe CNP has worked very hard with the Wind River Indian Reservation to fit the needs of the Native people,” says nominator Rhonda Bowers, administrative assistant for the Wind River 4-H program. “CNP gears its 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.”

CNP provided education on the benefits of a healthy diet, exercise and nutrition for at-risk students, says Glenda Mitchell, 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 Arapaho tribes, says Mitchell, who also is a certified addiction practitioner assistant with the Wind River Hotel & 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 says.

Mitchell 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 Indian Reservation,” Mitchell says. “CNP has really worked to include the Native peoples into their program and curriculum.”

More about the project and diversity award can be found at https://youtu.be/kgcHJmXKMY0.

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