The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded Taos Pueblo a prize Wednesday for outstanding and innovative efforts to improve health locally.
The Culture of Health Prize goes to six communities each year and the foundation says it included Taos Pueblo for its work drawing on cultural traditions to address modern health challenges.
Ian Chisholm is Tribal Secretary for Taos Pueblo. He says the community’s health efforts began in 2007, when the tribe took over control of programs that had previously been managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That paved the way for a number of health initiatives, including a program to farm food locally for use in schools.
“We have the Red Willow Farm, which grows produce. We’re able to use some of the produce grown there in the Head Start program,” which emphasizes the importance of healthy food choices within the children, Chisholm said.
The Culture of Health Prize comes with a $25,000 award. Chisolm says the Pueblo will likely use that money to help fund its early education and elder programs.