L.I.F.E. Program

Lasting Indigenous Family Enrichment (L.I.F.E.) Program

NACA’s Lasting Indigenous Family Enrichment (L.I.F.E.) Program is grant funded by the Center for Disease Control’s, Tribal Practices for Wellness in Indian Country (TPWIC) grant.  This grant supports tribal practice activities and events focus on building resiliency and connection between community, family, and culture while promoting a healthy lifestyle to reduce chronic disease risk factors.

Program Strategies:

  1. Intergenerational learning opportunities that support wellbeing and resilience.
  2. Traditional and contemporary physical activities that strengthen wellbeing.
  3. Seasonal cultural and traditional practices that support health and wellness

Program’s Intermediate Goal: Increase number of community members reporting stronger understanding of and engagement in healthy living practices.

Program’s Long-Term Goal:  Reduce morbidity and mortality due to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.  Increase resilience to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer through cultural practices and knowledge.

LIFE program blends cultural and contemporary practices to facilitate activities, support healthier lifestyles, while reducing chronic disease risk factors.

Carrie Dallas

Program Coordinator

Born for Hopi (Badger Clan) and Pima (Ant Clan) by my Navajo (Bitterwater clan) and Ogalala Lakota Oyate. Love my work sharing culture and tribal practices to re-indigenize eating and physical movement. My inspiration comes from my community; families and youth. In 1976, I worked as a NACA file clerk and returning to Flagstaff in 2014, being employed back at NACA fulfills that “coming full circle” feeling. It’s wonderful!

928.526.2968 ext. 165


Shonri Begay

Health Educator

Shonri Begay is the Health Educator for the Lasting Indigenous Family Enrichment Program. She is a member of the Diné and Tohono O’odham Tribes. She holds a B.S. in Biomedical Science from Northern Arizona University. She is a certified Personal Trainer and is training to be a Coconino County Master Gardener. Shonri is passionate about supporting long and active lives through fitness, outdoor education and healthy cooking using Indigenous foods.

928.526.2968 ext. 152


Upcoming Events

Native Food for Life Online Program to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes

Contact: Shonri Begay, SMBegay@nacainc.org

WHEN: Tuesdays 5:30 – 6:30 pm, January 11 – February 15, 2022

WHERE: On Zoom

REGISTRATION: To register, please visit https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ubxlVJHPRXqzyUEKIVRbIw

The Native Food for Life Online Program to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes is a FREE six-class series that teaches healthy, culturally relevant, plant-based eating habits for individuals, families, communities, and workplaces where people have or are at risk for type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, or gestational diabetes. Eating a plant-based diet is linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For those who already have type 2 diabetes, a plant-based diet has been shown to drop blood sugar, along with blood pressure, cholesterol and extra weight. Need for medication also drops.

“The precontact diet of Native American ancestors in what is now the Southern and Southwestern United States was largely plant-based,” says chef Lois Ellen Frank, PhD, adjunct professor, Indigenous Concepts of Native American Food, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, N.M.

Over the course of six 75-minute online lessons featuring cooking demos, nutrition lessons, and online discussions, participants will learn about the significant connection between food and diabetes, gain new cooking skills, try new recipes, and build new habits. Participants will gain knowledge, skills, and support to make and sustain significant dietary changes. These changes can prevent and, in many cases, turn diabetes around.

Disclaimer: A healthful diet can improve health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, but this is not a substitute for medical advice.

The class details are as follows:

January 11, 2022, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, The Power to Heal Diabetes in Indian Country

January 18, 2022,  5:30 – 6:30 pm, The Power of Your Plate

January 25, 2022, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, Blue Zones and the Magic 8

February 1, 2022, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, Grains, Beans, and More

February 8, 2022, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, The Story of 2 Sisters (A Lesson about Digestion!)

February 15, 2022, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, Virtual Potluck and Graduation

This class was designed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, that works to promote disease prevention and survival through nutrition. This program was initially developed as a 12-week program at the request of the Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Program, with assistance from NNSDP nutritionists, as well as nutrition experts at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Clinicians and staff members at Sacred Peaks Medical Center, Native Americans for Community Action (NACA)/Lasting Indigenous Family Life (L.I.F.E.), and Kinlani Bordertown Dormitory in Flagstaff, Ariz., piloted this program and contributed further content. In July of 2021, the American Indian Institute, University of Oklahoma College of Continuing Education offered the Native Food for Life Online, training AI/AN trainers to offer this program across the country.

For more information about Native Food for Life Online contact NativeFoodforLifeOnline@gmail.com

Please note that any information exchanged during the class is not intended to create a physician-patient relationship. The information presented in the lectures and materials is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.