The Kahnawake Schools Project: diabetes prevention in the Mohawk community

Type 2 diabetes is at epidemic proportions among Aboriginal people in Canada – around 15% of the Aboriginal population from 15 years and older. During the 1980s, healthcare providers at the local hospital in Kahnawake Mohawk Territory near Montreal, Quebec, noticed high rates of diabetes among people with cardiovascular disorders. Around the same time, high rates of obesity were reported among elementary school children in the same area. When this information was brought to the Kahnawake community, the elders called for action to prevent the children from suffering life-long ill-health – particularly diabetes. The authors describe a programme through which activities at schools and in the community are designed and implemented with the objective of preventing type 2 diabetes through the promotion of healthy eating, physical activity and a positive attitude.
indigenous people, Canada, Mohawk, KSDPP, Health Canada