It’s one thing to organize projects and initiatives around eating better and living more healthfully – and it’s another to see long-term, community-wide results. Community health providers for the Suquamish Tribe in Washington realized that to change the environment, they’d need something to hold people more accountable for their health and began working on creating culturally appropriate wellness policies.

The Process: 

The Recommendations:

The Status:

The tribal council was expected to review the policy recommendations mid-December 2012. 

Other food policy examples: 

Mvskoke (Creek) Nation – Tribal leaders worked the Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative – an independent, grassroots Native organization – to establish a Food & Fitness Policy Council, which was signed into tribal law in September 2010. Since then, the Policy Council has successfully led the adoption of a new procurement policy that allows tribal programs to purchase locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables directly from famers.  The new tribal policy – passed in 2012 – is seen as a first step toward in helping community members choose more healthy foods.  
 
Lummi Nation – Collaborating with the Lummi Indian Business Council, tribal government approved and signed a resolution called “Stop the Pop,” designed to encourage healthy beverage choices to reduce health care problems and costs. The resolution prohibits using tribal money to buy pop and sugar-sweetened drinks for meetings or events, removes such drinks from vending machines in schools, and encourages serving fresh produce at tribal events.