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IHS/Nike sign agreement to promote healthy lifestyles

Group picture with Dr. Roubideaux

The Indian Health Service (IHS) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nike USA, Inc., to collaborate on the promotion of healthy lifestyle choices for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The goal is to use the strengths and expertise of both organizations to improve and enhance the health and fitness of American Indians and Alaska Natives across the nation.

American Indian and Alaska Native people suffer health problems at rates that are significantly higher than the general U.S. population. Obesity prevalence in Native youth is about twice that of the general youth population, which is of particular concern given the possible life-long health effects. One focus area for this collaboration will be on supporting and promoting physical activity programs among Native youth before, during, and after the school day.

“Regular physical activity and healthy food choices contribute to better health by reducing obesity and the many chronic conditions associated with it, including diabetes and heart disease,” said Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, acting IHS director. “This partnership will serve American Indian and Alaska Native communities by expanding the information available on the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices.”

This MOU continues a partnership between the IHS and Nike that started over 10 years ago, when they  initially began to identify opportunities to work together to inform and educate Native communities about healthy lifestyles and  choices. In the last decade, the partnership has made great progress in encouraging American Indians and Alaska Natives to take charge of their health with innovative exercise and nutrition programs.

Dr. Roubideaux signing MOU

“N7 is Nike’s long-time commitment and mission to inspire and enable two million Native American and Aboriginal youth in North America to participate in sport and physical activity,” said Sam McCracken, general manager of Nike N7. “We are proud of Nike’s unique partnership with IHS and our shared commitment to unleash the potential of American Indian and Alaskan Native communities through the power of movement.”

With this new MOU, the IHS and Nike are now focusing on new ways to motivate and inspire American Indians and Alaska Natives of all ages to continue on the path to a healthier future.

The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives.

N7- After nearly a decade of partnership with tribes across North America to support programs aimed at physically active lifestyles, Nike deepened its connection to the Native American community in 2007 with the launch of N7 and the N7 Fund, which began in 2009 and has raised more than $3 million for Native American and Aboriginal youth sport programs. Nike N7 and the N7 Fund are aligned with Designed to Move, a growing community of public, private and civil sector organizations (including Nike) dedicated to ending the growing epidemic of physical inactivity.