With a Native American population of more than 100,000, the Bay Area is home to one of the country’s largest Native American communities. The high incidence of diabetes and long term diabetes related problems such as eye and kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and lower extremity amputations are dramatic realities in need of urgent change. Addressing these health issues is all the more challenging in a setting where more than 67% of Native families live below the federal poverty line.
Seva has taken a firm step in nurturing wellness activities at Intertribal Friendship House (IFH), a local community center that since 1955 has been at the heart of advancement in the quality of public life and provision of vital social services to the urban multi-tribal community—IFH is often affectionately referred to as the “Urban Reservation” of the Bay Area.
Currently at IFH’s Mother Earth Garden there grows traditional medicine such as soaproot and sage, with room for vegetables and fruits. Families come together to work in the garden each week, where the purple gem reflection of a rhubarb stalk mixes with the fragrance of mint and pines.