The Indian Health Service (IHS), the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) partnered to create a program aimed at reducing the onset of diabetes amongNative American youth. The program—On the T.R.A.I.L. (Together Raising Awareness for Indian Life) to Diabetes Prevention—is an innovative combination of physical, educational, and nutritional activities that promote healthy lifestyles. Since 2003, the T.R.A.I.L. program has served over 16,600 Native youth ages 7-11 in about 90 tribal communities.
NCAI's new five year grant award from IHS began in Fall 2017 and will end in August 2022. NCAI awarded approximately 83 Boys & Girls Clubs sites in Indian Country for the 2018-2019 grant year. In order to implement the program each site will receive the following:
• A grant to fund program operations, including a part-time staff person and program training for one year
• Evaluated program curriculum, training, and on-going technical assistance
• Access to the SPARK Afterschool Physical Activity Program
T.R.A.I.L. is comprised of a 12-chapter curriculum program that provides youth with a comprehensive understanding of healthy lifestyles in order to prevent diabetes. The program is presented with four themes:
Part 1: About Me, My Health, & Being Part of a Team
Part 2: Healthy Eating
Part 3: Making Smart Food Choices
Part 4: My Healthy Community
Woven throughout the program are self-esteem and prevention activities utilized by BGCA, including contributions from national, evidence-based programs such as SMART Moves. Programs draw from tribal traditions and history to learn about nutrition, food choices, media inuences, and the impact of diabetes. The program also emphasizes the importance of teamwork and community service. Members apply decision-making and goalsetting skills when completing physical activities and engage in education projects to improve healthy lifestyles in their communities. Club sites implement the Nike Let Me Play and SPARK programs to foster Club-wide participation in fun physical activities and games for 60 minutes every day.