Fitness Takes Hold in
Aboriginal Country With Just Move It—Canada
Condensed by Native Village
Aboriginals in Canada joined their American Indian and
Alaska Native cousins to learn how to shake their booty,
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
(ITK) joined with fitness advocates to
Just Move It—Canada, an online fitness initiative that
capitalizes on indigenous strengths to get people into physical
“Whether it’s -50 degrees in our beautiful winter or +20 in
summer, I encourage Inuit to go outside, enjoy nature, and ‘Just
Move it’ by engaging in traditional Inuit activities,
recreational sports leagues, or going to the community centre,”
said National Inuit Leader Mary Simon. Simon is President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) the Inuit-advocacy organization.
“There are plenty of ways to
stay fit based on our traditional and modern activities. Let’s
all get fit and stay fit.”
AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo noted that exercise is
right up there with education when it comes to strengthening
“Healthy communities are thriving communities, and Just Move It
will help showcase existing
and new community-based initiatives
toward achieving health and wellness among our peoples,”
said. “Just Move It is much more than an online tool. It
is part of a national movement and growing momentum among
Indigenous Peoples to work together to maintain healthy, active
lifestyles as a key component to our progress and success.”
Native Communities Partnership Inc. originated the idea.
The HNCP has partnered with the two aboriginal groups, and is
working in tandem with Health Canada.
The movement, known as JMI, was created in the United States in
“builds on the
indigenous values of sharing and storytelling, and plays an
important role in promoting cultural practices and traditional
knowledge around wellness and physical activity. JMI partners
report having an increased awareness of physical activity
promotion and program opportunities leading to direct impacts
on healthy behaviours in communities.”
“We are really excited to see Just Move It expand to include
First Nations and Inuit communities from Canada,” said
Executive Director David Reede. “Indigenous
communities are stronger when we share our wisdom and learnings
about what is working for wellness.”
At a workshop in Ottawa, participants discussed ways to use
digital storytelling and other technology to enhance and
encourage fitness. They also developed strategies to
encourage people to become active.
It comes not a moment too soon.
Diabetes is increasing at a
“horrendously high rate—two-and-a-half to five times that of the general population,”
said Stewart Harris, M.D. from the University of Western Ontario.
a recent study
study, Harris found that as many as 40% of First Nations adults living on reserves have type 2
diabetes, versus 7% in the general population, and that aboriginals are diagnosed with diabetes 10
- 20 years younger than the general population.
“We applaud this new interactive tool that improves awareness of
physical activity and wellness, and motivates people to make
said Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
Native Village Home Page
Village © Gina Boltz
To receive email notices of Native Village updates,
please send your email address to:
To contact us, email
Thank you to ALL the wonderful individuals, friends,
organizations, groups, news services and websites who share or donate their research, work, time and
talents to make Native Village possible
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed
without profit or payment for non-profit research, archival, news, and
educational purposes only.
NATIVE VILLAGE website was created for youth, educators, families, and friends
who wish to celebrate the rich, diverse cultures of The Americas' First Peoples.
We offer readers two monthly publications: NATIVE VILLAGE Youth and Education
News and NATIVE VILLAGE Opportunities and Websites. Each issue shares
today's happenings in Indian country. NATIVE VILLAGE also houses website
libraries and informational materials to enrich all lives on Turtle Island.
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written in full by the credited author at
the credited source link. We are responsible for format changes and additional
photos, art, and graphics which boost visual appeal and add dimension to
the reading experience. Pictures and graphics not appearing with the original
article are either credited on the page or by right-clicking the picture. Some
may be free or by sources unknown.
Please contact us with any copyright
corrections so we may properly credit the source.
We are not responsible for changes to outside websites and weblinks. Please
notify us if any problems arise.