Saturday, June 11, 2011

Planting "Three Sisters"

If you are like me you probably already planted your garden, but did you plant the "Three Sisters"? Planting Three Sisters (Corn, Squash and beans) is a sure way to get a harvest. They grow well together. Together they develop a system of support that causes them to thrive. “Three Sisters” traditional Native American planting technique grows crops in a mutually beneficial manner: the corn provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles; the beans provide the soil with nitrogen that the other plants use; and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight and preventing weeds. I learned this from First Lady Michelle Obama and her Let's Move! in Indian Country initiative.

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Garden Harvest Event with children and members of the American Indian community, in the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House, June 3, 2011.

Let’s Move! in Indian Country comes as a response to the current obesity trend within the American Indian community. American Indian or Alaska Native children between the ages of two and four have a higher prevalence of obesity (20.7% in 2009) than any other racial or ethnic group. Let’s Move! in Indian Country, in an effort to stem the tide of childhood obesity, brings together federal agencies, communities, nonprofits, corporate partners, schools and tribes to focus on four areas:
Check out this video of Friday's garden event:



    To build on the strength of this tradition, and to address the obesity health crisis that young American Indians and Alaska Natives are facing, the Obama Administration has formed the interagency collaboration, Let’s Move! in Indian Country. Participants include representatives from the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, the White House Domestic Policy Council, the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Education. Informed by research and recommendations in the President’s Childhood Obesity Task Force Report, Let’s Move! in Indian Country has set the four main goals mentioned earlier.
     
    Let’s Move! initiative will be building upon many important efforts that are already being made in Indian Country to address the crisis of childhood obesity. Government alone cannot solve the obesity problem and reach the goal of ending the epidemic of obesity in a generation. The concept is 
    1. To support and leverage Indian Country’s help, expertise, and commitment on the ground 
    2. To support public/private sector partnerships that will further support and expand upon the great work happening throughout Indian Country. 
    Each tribe is unique, so tribal leaders will be involved to ensure Let’s Move! in Indian Country will succeed. The initiative will work in accordance with the tribes to reduce childhood obesity and related conditions so that Native youth can grow, thrive and meet their full potential in life.