2018 National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day

National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day (NADAD) is observed on the first Friday of May to raise awareness of diabetes and increase health promotion activities to reduce incidence of type 2 diabetes. Over the years, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada have organized health promotion events to mark National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day (NADAD).

On April 30, 1999, as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, I proclaimed the first Friday in May as National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day. In 2016, First Nations Peoples in Canada continue to experience epidemic rates of diabetes and circumstances related to social determinants of health continue to play a part in increasing incidences of the disease.

Data from the 2008-10 iteration of the First Nations Regional Health Survey (RHS) shows that 21% of adults in First Nations communities reported having diabetes, and when we factor in what is known about under-reporting or undiagnosed incidences, the percentage will be much larger.

Organizations like the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association, along with their countless community and non-profit partners, continue to educate and raise awareness around preventative measures like healthy living and eating, and assist those living with diabetes in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, promoting the resiliency of Indigenous Peoples in the face of this growing national health priority. I am proud to mark May 6, 2016, as the 17th annual National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day and I encourage communities across the country to hold activities on this day to help raise awareness, educate and advocate.
–                Phil Fontaine, Ishkonigan Fontaine Strategic Solutions

National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day, proclaimed in 1999 by AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine in collaboration with NADA, is Friday, May 6th.  While we all work hard for the health of our peoples and for healthy lifestyles throughout our communities on a daily basis, we take this day to remember that we are not alone in this battle against diabetes, whether it be type-2 diabetes, gestational diabetes or type-1 juvenile diabetes. Find strength in our solidarity that the work we do is for our children and future generations, for our elders and people suffering from diabetes complications and that with each action we empower communities, our people and ourselves in ways that honor our ancestors.
–                Alex M. McComber, D.Sc. (Hon.) M.Ed. Bear Clan, Kahnawà:ke, Kanien’kehá:ka Territory

This year, in partnership with Brigette Pereira and Natalie Wowk-Slukynsky, Community Nutritionists at the Winnipeg Regional Office of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, we are sharing some recipes and a diabetes powerpoint presentation. We are also sharing our recently developed brochure on non-nutritive sweeteners and a poster on high fructose corn syrup, both developed by Rianna Tonn, a practicum student from the University of Manitoba Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences – Human Nutritional Sciences program.

The National Aboriginal Diabetes Association, along with First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, would like to welcome you to celebrate National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day by coordinating events in your community/communities that bring awareness to diabetes prevention and management.

Here are some ideas of events you can do to promote National Aboriginal Diabetes Awareness Day:

  • Host a talking circle inviting individuals to talk about how diabetes affects them
  • Coordinate a healthy living challenge, encouraging healthy eating, drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep
  • Coordinate a step challenge – see who can get the most steps in a week
  • Host a healthy cooking class
  • Host a physical activity event such as a yoga class, dance-off or jump rope contest
  • Host a community-wide walk followed by a healthy lunch and a presentation – feel free to use the powerpoint presentation on diabetes prevention included in this package

For more ideas or help on how to coordinate these events, please contact your Tribal Diabetes Coordinator, regional First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, or the National Aboriginal Diabetes Association.

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National Aboriginal Diabetes Association Inc.
103-90 Garry Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3C 4H1

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