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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Physical Activity Kit
by Indian Health Services

The Indian Health Service and the University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center partnered to promote living a healthy lifestyle focusing on physical activity through developing the PAK. Key features of the PAK include:

  • The PAK program promotes "Staying on the Active Path... a lifespan approach."
  • The PAK program includes: Modified American Indian Games, Exercise Breaks, Mt. Pathways,
    Great Race, Native American dance aerobics and powwow dances.
  • The program is designed for young people, adults, elders, and contains different exercises
    (strength, flexibility, cardio, and demonstration/activities).
  • The set-up and directions for the PAK elements are explained with teaching cues.

The PAK is based on best and promising practices to increase physical activity. The PAK toolkit can be used in schools, communities, worksites, Head Start programs, elderly centers, and youth programs. The Goal of the PAK is to increase the time American Indians and Alaskan Natives spend in medium to high physical activity for all ages across the lifespan. While, the activities have been field tested to be culturally appropriate for Native communities, others might find PAK useful in their community.

Elements of the PAK

  • Modified American Indian Games:
    The traditional games insure safety while keeping their original nature.
  • Exercise Breaks:
    Many of the activities promote how movement can be done in a small space with little or no
  • Mt. Pathways:
    The challenge has six stations that focus on five trails with increasing levels of physical activity.
  • The Great Race:
    A walk/run event that includes goal setting and daily charting of physical activity.
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Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000 - 2014 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.
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