Health & Wellness In Indian Country

Wellness for Every American Indian to Achieve and View Health Equity. A Good Health & Wellness In Indian Country (GHWIC) funded program.

This project is a cooperative agreement between the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) initiative funded from 2014-2019.

This project addresses chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes, which are among the most widespread, costly, and preventable causes of morbidity and mortality for American Indian/Alaska Native populations throughout the United States.

To address chronic disease risk factors including: commercial tobacco use, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet using policy, systems and environmental change approaches in the 43 federally recognized tribes of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

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Tribal Policy Guide

Included in the guide are real-world examples and tools that provide insight on how to lead community-driven policies. It is important to consider cultural context through each policy phase. For example, when planning a policy to decrease commercial tobacco use, you may consider the community’s beliefs around traditional tobacco. You will find ideas and concepts applicable to both off and on reservation tribal communities. The guide may also be utilized for advocacy, educating the community, or informing non-native communities or agencies on working within a tribal context.

To request technical assistance or training regarding the Tribal Policy Guide, please contact us at weave@npaihb.org.


Native Infusion – Rethink Your Drink

Native Infusion is a teaching toolkit aimed to support you and your community in making healthy choices about beverages. The toolkit integrates Native American cultural teachings and traditional health and nutrition concepts from the Coast Salish region.


Learning Objectives

Participants will learn about how ancestral beverages contribute to physical, spiritual and planetary health. Participants will learn methods for preparing healthy beverages from traditional plants and foods, including flavored waters, teas, smoothies and broths. Participants will learn how to identify, harvest, process and prepare multiple native plants for tea. Participants will learn about the health impacts of sugary drinks


This Toolkit Includes:

  • Curriculum
  • Teaching posters
  • Feeding 7 Generations Recipe Book


Native Infusion Posters

Posters are free for NW Tribal Communities and Tribal Organizations, Contact WEAVE-NW to request them.



Posters feature Artwork is by Squaxin Island tribal member Joe Seymour and Lower Elwha tribal member Roger Fernandes


Cedar Box Teaching Toolkit

The Cedar Box Teaching Toolkit is an educational resource featuring important native foods in Salish Country and the rich cultural traditions that surround them. The foods were selected because of their high nutritional value, cultural significance, and reasonable availability.


Educators can use the cedar box toolkit in a variety of settings including classrooms, community workshops and other educational events. Possible presentation formats include a “show and tell” overview of Salish foods, an exhibit, or a complete curriculum for teaching in depth classes on individual foods. The information in this curriculum only scratches the surface of the vast cultural knowledge for each food. We hope that you can add your own community knowledge, stories, artwork, preserved foods and language to your toolkit over time.


This Toolkit Includes:

  • Cedar bentwood box:
    • cooking tongs
    • cooking rocks
    • display containers
    • teaching cards
    • preserved samples of 13 native foods
  • Videos about foods and food traditions that feature native storytellers
  • Curriculum including Salish food descriptions, recipes, stories and activities
  • Feeding 7 Generations poster
  • Feeding 7 Generations recipe book

Meeting and Events

2022 Meeting and Event information coming soon!


Tam Dixon Lutz


Project Manager

working in public health in Indian Country, including over20years at the NPAIHBin maternal child health, chronic disease and motor vehicle injury focused projects, studies and surveillance.Lutz serves as the NW Tribal EpiCenter’s Project Director forWEAVE-NW, funded through the CDC’s Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC)initiativeand Native Boost:Addressing Barriers to Childhood Immunization through Communication and Education”, a CDC funded Tribal public health capacity project.Additionally, Ms. Lutz iscurrently the Co-Principal Investigator for twoof NW Tribal EpiCenter’sNIH funded studies including “NW Tribal Collaboration to Improve the Use Motor Vehicle Data,” grant, and “Investigating Maternal Opioid Use, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Responsein NW Communities.”Lutz is an experienced field researcher, a developingepidemiologist, with broad experience in maternal child health at the NPAIHB and at home at her Tribe. She has directed other projects at the NPAIHB including the very successful Native CARS Study, Toddler Obesity and Tooth Decay Prevention Studyand the Indian Community Health Profile Project. AsaProject Director, Ms. Lutzhasparticipated in all aspects of theprojectand managedthe project on a day-to-day basis. She has beenresponsible for communicating with tribes, supervising and mentoring staff, provide broad expertise to the subject area approaches of the projects, developing collaborations, and communicating and reporting to funder.

Shoshoni Walker


Food Sovereignty Project Manager

I got my bachelor’s from Eastern Oregon University in Physical Activity & Health with a concentration in Health and Wellness and a minor in Anthropology/Sociology. As a student I took on the role of Rural & Native American Programs Coordinator at EOU, but with my degree and passion in healthcare I transitioned to working for Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center under the Good Health & Wellness in Indian Country grant. I have been at Yellowhawk for the past 5 years. 

I am about to buy my first house on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. I enjoy hunting, fishing, and just being outdoors. Even though I have had two surgeries from completely rupturing my Achilles Tendon, I can’t turn down a pick-up game of basketball. I enjoy all types of games; cards, bowling, you name it. I love cooking delicious food for people and I’m addicted to true crime documentaries.

Tammie Scott

Tammie Scott


WEAVE-NW Public Health Educator

She then received her BS in Community and Public Health as an undergraduate at Idaho State University and then started a job as the Health Educator for the Shoshone Bannock Tribe for the next five years. There she also received hercertification as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist from Duke University.  She is a certified Child Passenger Safety Instructor and volunteer liaison for the State of Idaho Child Passenger Safety under IDT.  

Through these opportunities she has developed a passion for promoting healthy lifestyles andpreventative education in Indian country.  Specifically, creating resources to help those who want to overcome their commercial tobacco addictions and distinguishing the differences between commercial tobacco and sacred tobacco.  At Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, she has the opportunity to serve as the WEAVE-NW Public Health Educator. She is extremely honored and excited to serve the tribes within the region, and looks forward to helping those communities develop the tools needed to create and maintain various health promotion and disease prevention issues.   

In her spare time, she like to be in the surrounding mountains kayaking and fishing with herhusband and dogs when there is not lots snow on the ground.  When there is, she like to cook, craft and read.

M’Kya Bettega

Round Valley

WEAVE Project Coordinator

I am correctly pursing my AA degree in community public health. I will then go on to get my Bachelors in community health with a emphasis in health promotion and indigenous health. I grew up in the heart of north Portland in tradition household. Growing up off the reservations my mom always kept us connected with the Native community here in Portland. I am a proud mother to a busy 15month old who has taught me more about myself than I knew existed. I am an enrolled tribal member of the Round Valley Tribe in Northern California and a direct descent of the Klamath tribes.

Luca Green

AmeriCorps Member

Tribal Food Systems VISTA

I will be working directly with WEAVE-NW towards their goal of alleviating poverty by increasing access to fresh produce. I am nontribal but studied food justice and public health while in college where my passion for food sovereignty flourished. I am thrilled to serve at NPAIHB where I can learn from the wealth of knowledge the tribes, this organization, and its extensions hold.

I was born and raised in Baltimore, MD where I will be virtually working from until I move to Portland in January. I enjoy hiking, playing with my pet rabbit Basil, and spending time with loved ones.


WEAVE-NW History

WEAVE-NW is a program of the Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center, funded through the CDC’s Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) initiative. The overall objective is tostrengthen and broaden the reach and impact of chronic disease prevention programs that improve the health of Northwest tribal members and communities.WEAVE-NW was originally funded in 2014 for 5 years, and was awarded a second cycle of funding in 2019. In our second cycle of funding, WEAVE-NW hopes to achieve the following outcomes
Increased availability and consumption of healthy and traditional foods
Increased breastfeeding

  • Reduced prevalence of commercial tobacco use
  • Reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced prevalence of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol

Since 2014, WEAVE-NWhas built capacity and created lasting change through training, technical assistance and collaborative support to aid Northwest tribes in creating policy, systems and environment changes that encourage healthy lifestyles.Some of our work includes:

woman behind table image


Over the past six years, WEAVE-NW has conducted and organized 83different trainings, workshops and webinars to help build capacity in chronic disease prevention, reaching 2,182 participants and 41 of our 43-member tribes. We have brought expert tribal trainers in to build capacity in a wide range of skills. Increased availability and consumption of healthy and traditional foods
Increased breastfeeding

Reduced prevalence of commercial tobacco use

  • Reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced prevalence of high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol

Since 2014, WEAVE-NWhas built capacity and created lasting change through training, technical assistance and collaborative support to aid Northwest tribes in creating policy, systems and environment changes that encourage healthy lifestyles.Some of our work includes:

cooking food image

Technical Assistance (TA)

Northwest tribes have called upon WEAVE-NW to provide technical assistance 341 times during the first cycle of funding, and we reached 39 of our 43 member tribes through technical assistance. Survey design and implementation, evaluation, and policy development were the most commonly requested technical assistance topics.


WEAVE-NW was able to provide direct funding in the form of sub-awards to 22 of our member tribes during the first grant cycle. These amazing projects used a variety of culturally tailored approaches to bring community-level change that supported chronic disease prevention. Examples include starting community gardens, revitalizing traditional foods, using traditional tobacco teachings to prevent commercial tobacco use, implementing health systems change to reach community members at risk for diabetes and heart disease, and working with youth to replace sugary drinks with water at tribal schools.

Success Stories

Northwest Tribes Gather To Celebrate Food Sovereignty

At A Glance

The Northwest Tribal Food Sovereignty Coalition 2019 Annual Gathering was an opportunity for tribes from around the region to come together and share knowledge. support each other in their efforts to improve food systems, reclaim tribal foodways, and strengthen relationships.
The majority of participants rated the event “excellent” and said they would “definitely use” the knowledge they gained.
Comments included:

  • “Collaborative, intentional, and uplifting “
  • An annual reunion”
  • “So many ideas and opportunities…I always leave wanting more”
  • “Hearing from other natives was powerful and enlightening”

Find Out More

For more information about the NTFSC, please visit our website at
To view a video about the 2019 NTFSC Gathering, visit
What did you like best about the gathering? “Being together with like-minded native people all focusing on food sovereignty, the information presented, the discussions that happened both formally and informally. I’ve been home two days and have already passed on many of the teachings to our youth”

Public Health Challenge

American Indians and Alaska Natives are at higher risk than the general population for many health problems, and experience higher rates of death from many causes. Much of this disparity can be attributed to higher prevalence of chronic diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and obesity. While there are many contributing factors, lack of access to healthy foods plays a critical role in creating these disparities. For many Northwest Tribes, historical displacement has resulted in changes in dietary practices and loss of cultural and social traditions around stewardship of the land, harvest, and preparation of foods. These changes have been linked to chronic disease; in addition, the cultural impact of the loss of traditional food systems and decreased food sovereignty has had wide ranging consequences for the overall wellbeing of tribal communities.The majority of participants rated the event “excellent” and said they would “definitely use” the knowledge they gained.
Comments included:

  • “Collaborative, intentional, and uplifting “
  • An annual reunion”
  • “So many ideas and opportunities…I always leave wanting more”
  • “Hearing from other natives was powerful and enlightening”
Group photo


In 2017, several Northwest tribal communities put out the call to create a coalition of tribes working towards food sovereignty.They recognized the tremendous potential fortribes to empower each other throughknowledge sharing, fostering ideas, pursuing joint projects, and finding innovative solutions to common challenges. In response, WEAVE-NW, a Good Health & Wellness in Indian Country program based at the Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center,helped to create the Northwest Tribal Food Sovereignty Coalition (NTFSC).The coalition has a mission to reclaim indigenousknowledge of plants, land, and natural environments to maintain and improve health and quality of life for today and future generations.A primary goal of the NTFSC was to hold a gathering where members could learn from one another, build hands-on skills, and discuss their collective vision for the future of tribal food sovereignty in the Northwest.

Group photo


In June 2019, members of the NTFSC gathered on the traditional homelands of the Skokomish Indian Tribe north of Olympia, Washington.In all, 110 participants representing 24 Northwest tribes, 17 tribes from outside the Northwest, and 7 tribaland non-tribal organizations attended the event. The Skokomish Indian Tribe graciously hosted the gathering and community members prepared healthy, traditional meals from ingredients that were harvested, gathered, and grown locally. Skokomish community members also shared stories about their own journey to restore food sovereignty though community gardens, medicinal gardens, and restoration of lands which had historically been the habitat of native plants and animals.

Participants learned from experts and each other about breastfeeding, policy development, conducting food sovereignty assessments, indigenous knowledge-informed care, and identification/use of traditional plants for food and medicine. Highlights from the evaluation results include:

  • 72% rated the event “excellent”
  • 63% said they would “definitely use” the information received
  • Participants prefer an equal mix of hands on skills and didactic or panel sessions
  • For many, hearing from other tribal communities about their challenges and successes was the most valuable part of the experience


Tam Lutz, Project Director

Nora Frank-Buckner, NTFSC Coordinator

Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center

2121 SW Broadway

Suite 300

Portland, OR

Phone: 503-228-4185

What's Next

he NTFSC’s leadership team is reconvening this fall to discuss another year of exciting activity including a 2020 gathering, further development of the strategic plan,and dissemination of media produced over the last year.Coalition members are also working with other regional efforts such as the those of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians to increase the visibility of the tribal food sovereigntymovement outside of public health and work towards common policy goals regionally and nationally.

Group photo

Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country

The WEAVE NW Program is funded by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) Program. GHWIC is in its second 5-year cycle of funding from CDC. GHWIC’s current 5-year $98 million funded program is CDC’s largest investment to improve health among American Indians and Alaska Natives. This program aims to do the following:
Support a coordinated, holistic approach to healthy living and chronic disease prevention.

  • Reinforce the work already underway in Indian Country to make healthy choices and lifeways easier for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
  • Build off the previous GHWIC cycle to emphasize strategies in Native communities, reduce obesity, prevent type 2 diabetes, reduce commercial tobacco use, and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

GHWIC (2019-2024) funds 27 awards across three components:

  • Component 1recipients are tribes and Urban Indian Organizations (UIO) who implement strategies to prevent obesity, prevent and control commercial tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, and prevent type 2 diabetes and heart disease and stroke.
  • Component 2 recipients are tribal organizations who allocate at least half of their award to Area tribes and UIOs to implement
  • Component 1 strategies, expanding the reach of GHWIC funds and technical assistance to many more tribes and UIOs.
    Component 3recipient is a tribal organization that will establish the GHWIC Coordinating Center to support evaluation, peer learning, and communication strategies.

(The NPAIHB’s WEAVE-NW Project is funded under Component 2.)
GWHIC awardees implement evidence-based strategies adapted to fit the needs of their community with long term goals to: