Ilisaqsivik’s Adult Diabetes Initiative, Inuusiqartiarniup Aqqutaa (loosely translated as “pathways to a healthy life”), takes an integrated approach to Diabetes prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion. Initiated in 2003, the project uses education, promotion, and example to raise awareness in the community that Type 2 Diabetes is almost always preventable through the practice of healthy lifestyle choices. The program involves a variety of activities to promote physical fitness and a healthy diet, including recreation drop-in held six evenings a week and on Saturday afternoons, traditional games, igloo building, dog sledding, trips on the land, and health and fitness workshops.
In December, Ilisaqsivik organizes Inuit games at the Community Hall as part of the community’s holiday festivities. Healthy snacks, including country foods, are regularly provided at all activities. Education and awareness-raising are incorporated into these different activities by the Community Fitness Coordinator and the Community Health Coordinator. This approach integrates health information into fun, hands-on, culturally engaged activities that demonstrate the value of staying active and choosing healthy foods.
(Supported by the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative).