NM Four-time PGA Tour winner Notah Begay III is back in his
hometown this weekend for a series of events that will reach out
to 97 percent of all Native American students in the nation to sound
the alarm about the growing epidemic of type 2 diabetes in Indian
This is the first generation of
Native American youth that may not outlive their parents due to
childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes, said Begay, who created
the NB3 Foundation to help fight childhood obesity and diabetes.
The epidemic of type 2 diabetes among our people is relative
to the devastation that HIV/AIDS has caused in Africa. As Native
peoples, we cant afford to risk our future. We have to invest
in the health, well being and leadership development of our Native
Partnering with Native American media
organizations and the National Indian Programs Training Center,
Begay will engage Native students in 194 Bureau of Indian Education
schools in a one-hour televised appearance made possible by Distance
Learning Center satellite uplinks. The segment, which will air on
April 29 from 1 to 2 pm, will include 30 minutes of live dialog
with students nationwide. It will be co-hosted by Native America
Calling talk-radio host Harlan McKosato, and will be taped for replay
at later dates.
A recent study of 11,000 children on 12
Indian reservations found that among five-year olds, 47 percent
of boys and 41 percent of girls were overweight, and 24 percent
of children surveyed were obese, twice the national average. In
New Mexico, 61 percent of Native American children between ages
of 2-19 years are overweight. Obesity is a leading cause of type
Were engaged in a multi-prong
effort through sports, health and leadership programs for Native
youth to help to start turning the tide against this epidemic,
said Begay. Ive dedicated my life to this, and I hope
more and more people will join NB3 in this fight. Its a universal
health issue that affects all people in this country.
Begay will also share his youth wellness
message on more than 67 tribal and public radio stations as a guest
on Native America Calling from 11 am to noon MST on April 29. Begay
will be in-studio with high school and college students from the
San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians of California who are
part of a leadership development program sponsored by NB3. The students
are taking part in a journalism seminar to expose them to career
opportunities in news and media that include radio, television,
magazine and social media platforms.
In 2009, the San Manuel Tribe generously
contributed to the NB3 Foundation Challenge to construct a $750,000
soccer field and community park in San Felipe Pueblo, the first
recreational facility in the Pueblos history. The San Manuel
students will visit the new soccer field and attend San Felipe Feast
over the weekend documenting the growing relationship between the
tribes and their youth.
The San Manuel Tribe has been a
founding partner of the NB3 Foundation since 2008 and a major supporter
of me as a professional golfer and advocate for Native American
youth, said Begay, who is from the Navajo, San Felipe and
Isleta Tribes. Their strategic investment, with other supporters,
has positioned NB3 to address the real needs of Native American
youth facing type 2 diabetes. San Manuel is a philanthropic leader
in Indian Country that has invested millions of dollars to support
Native youth and create positive change.
Since 2005, NB3 Foundation has created
youth sports and wellness programs to reduce the incidence of childhood
obesity and type 2 diabetes, and to promote the leadership development
of Native American youth. Through its annual NB3 Foundation Challenge,
NB3 has raised more than $2.4 million for golf and soccer programs,
and also built new facilities with the generous support of sponsoring
tribes and private donors. So far, more than 3,850 Native youth
have participated in NB3 soccer and golf programs.
The NB3 Foundation is part of a
growing national movement to change the tide that is currently claiming
the lives and futures of our most precious resource, our Native
youth, said NB3 Executive Director, Crystal Echo Hawk. They
are our future leaders and cultural keepers, and we are launching
a call to action for more tribes, organizations and communities
to join us in this effort. It will take nothing short of a national
movement in Indian Country to turn this around.
NB3 also has established a partnership
with the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. Through
a series of studies in 2010, Johns Hopkins found that the NB3 Foundation
is succeeding in its efforts to create evidence-based sports programming.
NB3 programs may be early predictors of reduced rates of obesity
and diabetes as participating children age, the findings said.
The NB3 Foundation is a reflection
of Notahs life and vision that sports can play a transformative
role in the life of Native American youth. For our part, NB3 is
dedicated to creating and implementing evidence-based sports, health
and leadership programming that can prevent childhood obesity and
type 2 diabetes among Native youth that can eventually be replicated
throughout Indian Country.
For more information, go to
About Notah Begay III Foundation
In 2005, Notah Begay III established the
Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Notah established the Foundation to address the profound health
and wellness issues impacting Native American youth and to empower
those youth and help them realize their potential as tomorrows
leaders. The mission of the Foundation is to reduce the incidences
of obesity and diabetes and advance the lives of Native American
youth through sports and wellness programming. To this end, the
mission the Foundation supports is the development of sustainable,
evidence-based and innovative soccer and golf programs designed
by Native Americans for Native American youth that promote physical
fitness, wellness and leadership development.
For more information on Notah Begay III
and the Foundation, visit: www.nb3foundation.com.