The temporary exhibit is a lesson geared to children about the prevention and treatment of diabetes. Unfortunately, this disease has ravaged the Native American community. Their rate of diabetes is twice the rate of white Americans. Currently 16.5% of Native Americans ages 20 and older have type 2 diabetes and many of the children have it as well.
A creative set of children’s books Through the Eyes of the Eagle by George Perez is on display both in pictures and videos. In this series, Mr. Eagle tells the children how to prevent diabetes by returning to the ways of their ancestors – eating healthy, spending time outdoors, and being physically active. While the original Native American diet was based on fruits, vegetables, grains, with the occasional fish or animal that was caught, many Native American children today fill up on potato chips and other junk foods. They exercise their thumbs playing video games and watching TV rather then their bodies playing lacrosse and other active games. Mr. Eagle explains to the children what they need to do to stay strong and healthy. The illustrations are beautiful. Here is one of them.
After seeing that wonderful exhibit, I visited the museum library where I found several Native American cookbooks. Although many of the ingredients they used were very healthy, many of them would be difficult to obtain for most of us. I did, however, find a couple of recipes that seemed doable. I admit I haven’t tried them yet, but I will soon. If any of you try them, let me know how they came out.
Sweet Potato Bread
Boiled sweet potatoes mashed up
Mix the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Pour into bread pan. Bake in a hot oven (425 Fahrenheit). The recipe didn’t provide amounts or baking times.