ONAMIA -- Hundreds of American Indian elders from across Minnesota are expected to attend the third annual Wisdom Steps Conference from Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Grand Casino Mille Lacs, hosted by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
The conference will feature a powwow to honor elders who have participated in the program and sessions about diabetes, medicine management and Medicare.
The Mille Lacs Band and other Indian communities across the state, along with the Minnesota Board on Aging, started the Wisdom Steps program in 2000 to develop health education projects and healthful activities for elders. This preventative health program encourages elders to maintain walking and exercise regimens; have regular medical screenings to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar; and learn more about healthy lifestyles.
The program has won several awards during the past three years from organizations including Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Minnesota Department of Health, the National Indian Council on Aging, the Bemidji Area Indian Health Service, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
The Wisdom Steps Conference will include blood pressure and blood sugar screenings; opportunities to talk with health professionals; sessions about diabetes, medicine management and Medicare; the Honoring Our Elders Powwow on Sept. 30 (with grand entries at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.); and a Wisdom Steps walk outside the casino from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 1. The powwow will honor elders who have met the requirements of Wisdom Steps for the last year.
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