Building resilience through
Understanding and feeling connected to one’s culture is vital to the development of resilience. IHCRC’s youth programs strive to provide educational and experiential cultural activities. From stickball to our Restoring Resilience Powwow, IHCRC’s programs connect youth and families to Native American culture without focusing on tribally specific traditions. Programs focus on activities and values shared by the Native American community as a whole.
Fitness and Family Strengthening
In addition to the ever popular Running Strong Club, IHCRC offers individual and group youth fitness programs focusing on weight control, strengthening, and movement. Youth sports camps held during the summer months round out the fitness program. Bi-monthly family fun activities will get the entire family moving together. Each family fun activity will include nutrition and diabetes education from the nutrition educator, a healthy meal (sometimes cooked by the families) and a fun activity to help get people moving. Events will range from family competition nights to outings at local parks, zoos, botanic gardens, and nature centers.
Youth Leadership and Mentoring
Developing future community leaders is at the heart of IHCRC’s youth program. Programs are focused on four primary areas:
Assisting Native American Student Associations in local schools
Involving youth through the IHCRC Youth Council
Pairing youth with mentors from the Native American Community Committee
Utilizing youth to plan and implement the Restoring Resilience Powwow and Native American Youth Summit.
IHCRC understands that changing the destiny of diabetes and obesity in Indian country means changing not only youth behavior and lifestyles, but the behavior and lifestyles of entire families. The youth nutrition program focuses on health and nutrition through hands-on activities and food experiences. IHCRC teams with Eagle Adventure program for its younger youth. Older youth and families are introduced to indigenous foods including edible plants and berries through a program entitled Plant Teachings.
Plant Teachings is part of a toolkit that weaves together plant knowledge, traditional stories, social-emotional skills, reflection questions, activities, and movement. Several skillsets are integral to the toolkit including mindfulness, self-awareness, tolerating stress, and building healthy relationships. The classes taught through this book include information on how plants teach us resilience and strength. IHCRC has a dynamic behavioral health department which includes care focused on youth and families.
IHCRC works directly with local schools assisting with Indian Education summer camps, cultural programs, and classroom teachings. Topics include resilience, intimate partner violence, suicide prevention, bullying, and other topics relevant to today’s youth. The Native American Youth Summit held in the fall is the ultimate in development and empowerment for Native American youth in Northeastern Oklahoma.