Washington Redskins foundation loses another event sponsor


Erik Brady, USA TODAY Sports  April 13, 2014

Courtesy NB3 FoundationNotah Begay III
Courtesy NB3 Foundation
Notah Begay III

The Notah Begay III Foundation pulled its support from this weekend’s Arizona golf tournament to benefit scholarships for Native American students when it learned the title sponsor was the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.

“I find it underhanded and despicable that the Washington football team would co-opt this event,” Crystal Echo Hawk, NB3 foundation executive director, told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday. “As soon as we found out about their involvement we withdrew our support.”

Begay, a four-time PGA Tour winner and an analyst with the Golf Channel, is Navajo, Isleta Pueblo and San Felipe Pueblo. He is a longtime critic of the Washington team name, which he called “a very clear example of institutionalized degradation” on ESPN last year.

MORE: Nonprofit National Indian Gaming Association pulls support

Echo Hawk, who is Pawnee, said the NB3 Foundation was asked in February to donate silent auction items for a golf tournament to be held in Chandler, Ariz., this month; the foundation donated golf apparel.

When she found out Friday that Saturday’s event was sponsored by the NFL team’s foundation, she called the radio station that asked for the donation. Echo Hawk spoke to Tony Little, general manager of Arizona radio station KTNN, and demanded that NB3’s name be removed from the event officially called the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation (OAF) 1st Annual KTNN Celebrity Golf Tournament.

“The NB3 Foundation does not support the Redskins or its organization OAF,” NB3 said in a statement. “We are adamantly opposed to the team’s continued use of this derogatory name.”

Echo Hawk said she believed OAF came in as title sponsor very recently. She said she asked Little how much money the football team’s foundation paid for that but that he couldn’t talk about it.

The Washington football team did not immediately return a message asking for comment. KTNN’s Little also did not immediately return a message asking for comment.

The National Indian Gaming Association, a nonprofit that includes 184 Indian nations as members, pulled its sponsorship Friday after learning of the involvement of the football team’s foundation, as reported by USA TODAY Sports that day.

Ernest Stevens, chairman of the gaming association, said his organization finds the team name offensive and he criticized team owner Daniel Snyder for starting the foundation.

“It’s a blatant attempt to try to buy out the issue,” Stevens said.

Contributing: Brent Schrotenboer

IHS and the Notah Begay III Foundation form partnership to address obesity in Native youth

Source: Indian Health Service

The Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F) are collaborating on activities aimed at preventing childhood obesity in American Indian and Alaska Native youth. The partnership will include sharing best practices in implementation of community-based activities directed at addressing childhood obesity in Indian Country.

The collaboration, initiated Nov. 12, 2013, was developed in support of the Let’s Move! In Indian Country (LMIC) program, which is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. The LMIC seeks to advance the work tribal leaders and community members are doing to improve the health of Native youth.

“Today’s partnership is an important step towards helping Native American youth lead healthier lives,” said Sam Kass, executive director of Let’s Move! and White House senior policy advisor on nutrition. “With the LMIC, we’ve seen tribal leaders engage their communities by creating food policy councils and reintroducing sports like lacrosse into schools, but we know there is more work to be done to ensure all our children have the healthy futures they deserve.”

Obesity is a significant problem in Native communities. It is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, which are among the leading causes of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

“Tribal leaders have asked us to focus more on prevention efforts, especially with our youth,” said Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, acting director of the IHS. “Our new partnership with the NB3F gives us an opportunity to identify and share best practices from all of our prevention efforts, including the successful activities and outcomes of our Special Diabetes Program for Indians grantees, to help in the fight against childhood obesity in the communities we serve. We are excited to partner with them as they establish a new national center focused on these issues.”

With a mission centered on reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity among Native American children, NB3F has developed community-driven, scalable, and replicable prevention models that have seen statistically significant outcomes among child participants in the areas of reduced body mass index or BMI (a measure of weight proportionate to a person’s height), increased self-confidence and endurance, and enhanced understanding of nutrition knowledge. In August of this year, NB3F launched a national initiative, Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures that functions as a national center focused on strategic grant making, research and mapping, capacity building, and advocacy to combat type 2 diabetes and obesity among Native American children.

“This unprecedented partnership between the Obama administration, the IHS, and the NB3F demonstrates the critical importance of leveraging partnerships and resources to tackle the health crisis facing Native American children,” said NB3F founder Notah Begay III. “With 1 out of 2 Native American children expected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, it is vital that effective strategies and best practices are accessible for all Native communities, so together we can turn the tide on childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

About the Indian Health Service: The IHS provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.1 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who are members of federally recognized Tribes. The IHS is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and its mission is to raise their health status to the highest level. For more information about the IHS, visit www.ihs.gov

About the Notah Begay III Foundation: In 2005, Notah Begay III established the Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F), a 502c3 non-profit organization to address the profound health and wellness issues impacting Native American children and to empower them to realize their potential as tomorrow’s leaders. The mission of NB3F is to reduce the incidences of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes and advance the lives of Native American children through physical activity and wellness programming. To this end, NB3F develops community-driven, sustainable, evidence-based, and innovative wellness programs designed by Native Americans for Native American children that promote physical fitness, wellness, and leadership development. For more information on Notah Begay III and NB3F, visit: www.nb3foundation.org.

Notah Begay III Foundation to Launch New $1.5 Million Diabetes Initiative

Notah Begay – Navajo/San Felipe Pueblo, is founder of the Foundation that serves Native American children.
Notah Begay – Navajo/San Felipe Pueblo, is founder of the Foundation that serves Native American children.

Source: Native News Network

ALBUQUERQUE – The Notah Begay III Foundation, NB3F, has announced it will launch a new initiative to expand its fight against childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes for American Indian children.

This announcement, which includes plans to lead extensive research and advocacy initiatives while assisting more American Indian communities in developing their own evidence-based health and wellness programs, was made possible through a generous $1.5 million grant to NB3F by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of the nation’s largest health foundations.

“This is a transformative time for the Notah Begay III Foundation. It’s the next step in realizing our vision to empower Native American children nationwide to achieve their potential as tomorrow’s leaders,”

said four time PGA Tour winner, NBC/Golf Channel analyst and NB3F founder, Notah Begay III – Navajo/San Felipe Pueblo.

“Childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes are epidemics in Native American communities. Until we invest the appropriate resources to turn the tide against these preventable diseases, they will continue to overwhelm our communities. There is still much more work to be done but, with the help of the great people at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the ongoing support of all our partners and donors, we’ve taken a very important step toward accomplishing our mission.”

The Notah Begay III Foundation’s new national initiative will be focused on investment in research, grantmaking, technical assistance and advocacy for American Indian communities in three regions of the country – the Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona), the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin) and; the Southern Plains (Oklahoma, Texas).

In addition to equipping more Native American communities with resources and training to address this health crisis through innovative, community-driven, culturally appropriate and multi-faceted programs on a local level, this expanded effort will provide unprecedented funding for research into childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes among American Indian children.

Currently, there is no clearinghouse of data on the topic, which impedes work to fully understand these health issues and the best prevention strategies to effectively combat them. By generating detailed research data and advocating on a national level to reinforce the incredible need for additional resources, NB3F will elevate the issue in the hopes of reaching even more communities in the future.

“There’s a tremendous need for more research, advocacy and local assistance to help Native American children lead healthy lives,”

said Jasmine Hall Ratliff, program officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“It’s become clear in recent years that this work needs to happen now to ensure that Native American children grow into the leaders their communities need. We look forward to working with NB3F as it launches this new national initiative.”

The need for investment in this cause continues to grow.

While childhood obesity rates across the nation are showing positive signs of improvement, they are moving in the opposite direction in many Native communities, some of which have childhood obesity rates exceeding 60 percent. That alarming rate also indicates accelerated incidences of type 2 diabetes, which is often caused by obesity. Current trends indicate one-in-two Native American children will develop type 2 diabetes, a rate higher than all other ethnicities combined. Native Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to die from diabetes.

These disparities between national averages and those among Native Americans points directly to the relative lack of resources committed to these issues in Native American communities. Statistics indicate that investments in awareness and prevention, especially among children, deliver strong return on investment and save significant public healthcare costs long-term.

For more information about NB3F, its work in Native communities and the continued need for support, visit www.nb3foundation.org.

Fun time at UNM

Begay Foundation unites kids with Lobo women

By Ken Sickenger / Journal Staff Writer on Jul. 23, 2013

Lobo freshman Lauren Newman, center, shares a smile with Keshaun Christian, right, Wicanhpi-Winyan Echohawk, center left, and Jesslyn Sandoval during a passing drill at Monday’s basketball clinic. (adria malcolm/for the journal)
Lobo freshman Lauren Newman, center, shares a smile with Keshaun Christian, right, Wicanhpi-Winyan Echohawk, center left, and Jesslyn Sandoval during a passing drill at Monday’s basketball clinic. (adria malcolm/for the journal)

We’re going to need another bus.

Notah Begay III Foundation personnel came to that realization early Monday as they prepared to travel from San Felipe Pueblo to the University of New Mexico.

NB3F had arranged to send a group of Native American youngsters to UNM for a two-hour clinic with the Lobo women’s basketball team.

The turnout exceeded expectations.

“We expected around 30 kids and ended up with 90,” said Stephanie Gabbert, the foundation’s director of soccer. “We had to arrange an extra bus, but that’s a good thing. The more kids we expose to something like this the better.”

The clinic provided many of the youngsters a first look at UNM and its basketball facilities. They rotated through various basketball and nutrition stations operated by Lobo players.

Enthusiasm ran high on both sides.

“It’s awesome,” said 13-year-old Evan Valencia. “(UNM players) got us running and they’ve been really nice. We’ve never had anything like this before. It’s fun.”

Monday’s clinic served to further the mission of NB3F. Established by Albuquerque golfer Notah Begay III, the foundation seeks to combat childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes among Native Americans by promoting education and active lifestyle choices.

The foundation’s website, nb3foundation.org, cites numerous studies reporting that childhood obesity and diabetes are more common among Native Americans than any other ethnic group.

The Santa Ana Pueblo-based foundation operates golf and soccer programs for Native American youth. NB3F also coordinates a variety of summer camps to introduce youngsters to other sports and activities.

With that in mind, Gabbert reached out to Lobo women’s basketball coach Yvonne Sanchez and men’s soccer coach Jeremy Fishbein. Both quickly agreed to hold clinics.

Lobo men’s soccer players and coaches visited NB3F’s soccer facility at San Felipe last summer and will host a clinic Wednesday. Monday’s women’s basketball clinic was a first-time event and proved a big-hit with the 90 boys and girls who attended. The campers ranged in age from 7 to 13.

Begay, now a network golf commentator for NBC, was unable to attend Monday’s clinic. His brother, Clint Begay, who helps operate NB3F, came away impressed.

“The foundation’s main goal is to get kids active,” he said. “When we can do that and get them outside the reservation, show them something new, that’s a big plus. You can tell by their faces, these kids are happy to be here.”

Lobo players clearly enjoyed the experience, too. Juniors Antiesha Brown and Ebony Walker operated a station emphasizing defense and lateral movement. They also made younsters elevate for high fives and celebrate imaginary three-point-play opportunities.

“Basketball is really good for younger kids,” Brown said, “so you have to make it fun. Eb and I like to do follow-the-leader drills and just be ridiculous to keep the kids entertained. When they have fun, it’s fun for us, too.”

UNM players largely ran Monday’s show because Sanchez and her assistant coaches were out of town recruiting. Women’s basketball vidoegrapher and former player Amy Beggin oversaw the clinic.

“It’s a cool opportunity for our players,” Beggin said, “because they love working with kids. It’s also nice because a lot of these kids have never been to UNM before. This gives them a chance to see it and maybe dream about coming here someday.”

Thirteen-year-old Ilai Sandoval admitted he was nervous about coming to the Davalos Center. Sandoval has been participating in NB3F activities for a year and now serves as a youth assistant.

“Everyone was happy we got to come here,” he said. “My cousin’s been asking me, ‘When’s the camp? When’s the camp?’ A lot of kids couldn’t wait.

“I was a little nervous because I’ve never been here before but it’s nice. I bet everyone will want to come back (Wednesday) for soccer.”