Health facts are important. Some of these facts, however, can be discouraging. What would happen if we focused on healthy community activities?— Healthy Portraits does just that.
Healthy Portraits highlights healthy success stories through photography and storytelling. It is a way to celebrate communities making positive changes towards wellness. This project is different in two ways—1) it focuses on healthy change, and 2) it returns the photos back to the communities.
This project is funded by OMH grant number AIAMP120014.
We find Alaska health stories that inspire, motivate, and bring communties together.
To photograph the story, we travel to each community at least twice.
On the last visit, we return the photos to celebrate their success stories of health.
This year, the Alaska Native Epicenter partnered with the Tyonek Tribal Conservation District (TTCD) to tell the story of the amazing community garden in the Native Village of Tyonek.
Elders in the community had been gardening for years, but it was fading. Aimed at providing fresh organic vegtables and enhancing food security, the village made it a priority in 2008 to start growing local vegetables.
The 1.5 acre garden, now in it's fourth year, runs entirely on renewable energy, using solar-powered irrigation and ventilation systems. Two high tunnel greenhouses greatly extend the growing season.
Every year, students from the Tebughna School are heavily involved in everything from caring for seedlings to watering and weeding to harvesting produce. Four youth workers were also employed over the summer to help with garden tasks, running farmers markets and delivering food to local Elders.
ANTHC EpiCenter staff visited the garden over the summer to photograph the garden blessing, cooking demonstrations, and harvests. Here is the photographic story of the Tyonek garden and the community members who made it happen!
NANANordic’s goal is introduce the lifetime sport of cross-country skiing to rural Alaska starting with villages in the NANA region. In April 2013, 1,500 students were introduced to skate skiing in the 11 villages making up the NANA region. Additionally, NANANoridic visited White Mountain in the Bering Strait Region and Anaktuvuk Pass in the North Slope Region. –source: nananordic.com
ANTHC EpiCenter staff, along with NANA shareholder and photographer Craig Billingsley, photographed NANANordic and their involvement with the communities of the Northwest Arctic Region. They traveled with NANANordic to the villages of Noatak and Shungnak to tell their stories. In August of 2013, they returned to give the photos back to the communities where they will be permanently displayed. The hope is that the photos will continue to inspire healthy choices and acheivements.