Twilight Series Actor, Chaske Spencer Blog on UNITY and Let’s Move! in Indian Country
This weekend I attended the UNITY (United National Indian Tribal Youth) annual conference in Minneapolis, MN. It was an honor to be one of the speakers and to have the opportunity to talk about Lets Move! In Indian Country with the hundreds of Native youth who attended the conference. I first got involved with UNITY when I was about 15. It gave me a firmer foundation to achieve my goals, something that isn't always readily available on the reservation. It was great to see that more and more youth are not only getting involved, but are creating and supporting the projects within.
Charles Galbraith, Associate Director, White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement (Left) and Chaske Spencer, Actor and United Global Shift Ambassador (Right). (Photo taken by Adam Sings In The Timber)
At this year’s UNITY conference we really got moving thanks to the support of the First Lady’s Lets Move! In Indian Country. I joined the hundreds of Native youth at the conference in taking part in the Beyonce’s “Move Your Body” dance. Together, we learned the dance steps from Beyonce’s instructional video. After learning the steps, we all performed the routine and gave it our own Native twist! Dancing is a great workout!
Chaske Spencer participates in Beyonce's "MoveYour Body" dance
It was really rewarding to be there and talk with youth about subjects so relevant to Indian Country. Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are serious concerns on reservations across the U.S. because many communities are very isolated and health dietary options are not available to Native people. Growing up on a reservation, I ate terribly and continued to eat that way right up into my adult life. In fact, I had no real grasp of diet until I was cast in Twilight: New Moon, it was there I learned about diet, exercise and how it all comes together to make me a healthier, happier person.
Let’s Move! in Indian Country is giving important health education to Native people now to help combat obesity. The initiative is combining the strategies of getting healthier with common sense and taking it out to the Native children of America, their tribes, families, schools and community organizations. I believe that with a united effort, in just one generation, together we can wipe out obesity and impact the overall health of not just Native youth, but all children across America – How's that for a united shift?
How can you get involved? Check out the Let’s Move! website. There is a whole section on how you can get out and get moving to improve your own health and your families.
How can you support Let’s Move! in Indian Country?
- Participate in the Let’s Move! in Indian Country, Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Challenge
- Plant a garden with your family or in your community!