Salish Kootenai College

Extension Office Official Website

Healthy and Sustainable Diets For All

The Healthy and Sustainable Diets for All focus is on research and educational intervention to mitigate food system and diet related health disparities on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Salish Kootenai College Extension and Montana State University Department of Health and Human Development partnered to engage forty low-income participants of the Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations, including Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and local Foodbanks in a six month study addressing the research question: What are the effects of an integrated social media and nutrition education intervention on food choices, dietary quality, health outcomes, nutrition knowledge, and perceptions of study participants? The specific aims are to: Characterize impacts of an integrated social media and nutrition education intervention; Evaluate impacts of nutritional and healthy cooking education intervention on waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, and blood glucose; Determine impacts of intervention on nutrition knowledge and perceptions to elucidate linkages between food choices, dietary quality, health outcomes, and nutrition, and; Assess barriers and opportunities for increasing consumption of locally produced fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Survey tools measuring food choices, dietary quality, nutrition knowledge, and motivation document participant perceptions of food. Interventions include nutrition and sustainability curriculum, cooking demonstrations, a cookbook, using local vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, mindfulness activities associated with food, Facebook, on-line information on meu planning, cooking, and a project website for archiving information. An inventory of tribal food use and a barriers survey will assess potential to utilize local food in tribal schools, restaurants, and assistance programs.

Food Sovereignty

SKCE conducts research with area participants in food supplement programs SNAP, FDPIR, and area food banks improving access to healthy fresh locally produced foods, providing nutritional education, and maintaining SKC gardens and area community gardens to distribute produce to area seniors , food pantrys, and food program participants. RAs work with area food providers, conduct research, maintain gardens and greenhouse crops, composting, and distributing produce.

Salish Kootenai College integrates extension, education, and research to advance land grant initiatives for our Tribal community. A focus on ecological restoration processes has led to developing a native plant nursery production and teaching facility, sharing native plant growing techniques with the Tribal greenhouse staff, and implementation of native plantings for restoration purposes. The extension office is mapping noxious weeds, providing education, and coordinating community level planning and weed control efforts. Extension is facilitating the Tribal Colleges with a special Water quality project to increase involvement with the USDA water quality program. The office is expanding the scope of extension by implementing delivery of curriculum in diet, health, and fitness aimed at preventing and reversing diet related illness.