November is Native American Heritage month! Also called American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage month, this November is a time to celebrate Native people and their diverse cultures, tradition, and important contributions throughout history. We at White Pine Center for Healing are proud to use the Native American symbol for wisdom and growth, the White Pine, in the creation of our name to represent part of what we as an organization stand for!
We support EVERYONE who struggles with disordered eating or body image issues, and this month gives us the opportunity to focus on a community of people who throughout history have been overlooked.
According to the Sacramento Native American Health Center (SNAHC), research on Native communities and eating disorders is severely lacking. In the little research that has been done, it was found that about half of the Native American youth surveyed were attempting weight loss.
"Like many other cultures, food in the Native community plays a significant role in social gatherings and traditions. But since the arrival of colonization and western ideals, Natives’ once harmonious relationship with food has become an instrument of anxiety and isolation"...
"Diabetes, obesity, and mental health issues are well-known to be prevalent in Native communities, and in many ways they are related to eating disorders. Binge Eating Disorder can cause diabetes and obesity. Furthermore, eating disorders are often caused by stress, anxiety and depression, which can get even worse with the onset of an eating disorder" (SNAHC).
Take some time to celebrate this month by educating yourself on the history of Native people, current issues they face, their traditions, and resiliency.
Interested in some resources to help you get started? Check out these links below:
Sacramento Native American Health Center. "National Eating Disorder Awareness Week". SNAHC Blog, 2020. https://www.snahc.org/2020/02/22/national-eating-disorder-awareness-week/