Over 470 people attended the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s 23rd annual Community Wellness Day this summer to increase health awareness and promote physical activity. The day featured fun and interactive ways to educate participants about leading healthy lifestyles and preventing cancer. An inflatable obstacle course, a bounce house and massages were among the activities enjoyed by attendees this year. Located in northern New York State, the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation is divided by the U.S./Canada border.
The 12,000 people who live on the U.S. side utilize the St. Regis Mohawk Services for medical, dental and community health services. Twenty-five percent are age fifty and over, the recommended age to start colorectal cancer screening.
Increasing the community’s colorectal cancer awareness and screening was one of many goals of the event, which was organized by the Health Promotion/Disease & Injury Prevention Committee. Programs, agencies and organizations from the surrounding area participated in the annual daylong event, offering health promotion information and activities related to diabetes education, smoking cessation, nutrition, healthy lifestyles, stress management, cancer education, physical activity, blood pressure and glucose checks.
The organizers promoted the event through the local weekly newspaper and radio media. The reservation’s own radio station, CKON, broadcasts to areas within a 50-mile radius in both English and the Mohawk language. The 2013 Wellness Day was advertised on a weekly ½-hour talk show called “Tetewataron – Let’s Talk”.
The Wellness Day project won third place in the third annual Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives National Challenge which is offered by the Prevent Cancer Foundation as a way to champion screening and awareness programs in local communities. The 2013 Challenge included ten projects from across the country, ranging from educating employees at work sites in Virginia and Pennsylvania to distributing colorectal cancer screening kits in Mississippi and Nebraska.
The Foundation was proud to support the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s 23rd annual Community Wellness Day with a small grant as part of the National Challenge. The grant funds were used to provide participants with gift certificates to area farmers’ markets upon completion of a fitness walk.
What is your community doing to promote healthy lifestyles and cancer prevention? If you are in the D.C. area on September 29th, join us for the Prevent Cancer 5k Walk/Run at Nationals Park!