The Native American Diabetes Recovery Program, designed and sponsored by the Tree of Life Foundation, a 501(c) 3 humanitarian service organization, represents an effective option for healing diabetes in the Native American community, and eventually indigenous communities around the globe.
Research from around the world has shown that within 20 years after the western industrialized diet of processed food, white sugar, and white flour is introduced into indigenous cultures, diabetes “breaks out” amongst them. This is the situation we face in the Native American cultures today.
The remedy of this situation first requires that we understand that Type II onset diabetes is essentially healable through a 25-45% moderate low carbohydrate, 10-15% protein, 25-45% raw fat, whole food diet combined with the use of specific herbs, vitamin and mineral supplements, specific digestive enzymes, and moderate exercise. All of the Native Americans who have come to the Tree of Life Center US were rapidly healed with the exception of one person, although doing well, decided to quite the program because he didn’t feel ready for it.
One study shows that the Pima populations of Arizona have a diabetes rate of 50%, (others estimate 90%), which is 19 times higher than the average American-European population. Their genetic cousins, the Tara Humara Indians, who have maintained a traditional diet without white sugar have a rate closer to 5%.
It is astounding that the focus of diabetic treatment in the tribes in Arizona is how to cut down on the amount of amputations, rather than how to prevent and reverse the diabetic process. Dennis Banks, who healed his diabetes at Tree of Life Center US and is the head of the American Indian Movement, in our co-sponsored walk against diabetes across America, reported to me that the rate of diabetes on most of the reservations was close to 90%. Perhaps no other group in the world is so hard hit.
The Tree of Life Foundation Native American Diabetes Recovery Program (still in its fledgling stage) is dedicated to supporting Native Americans in completely eliminating the occurrence of diabetes, both at the individual and tribal levels. To facilitate this viable possibility, the Tree of Life Foundation sponsors Native American Tribal leaders from each tribe, who have diabetes, a 21-day diabetes healing cycle at the Tree of Life Center US so that they may first benefit from the Diabetes Recovery Program on an individual level.
With Gabriel Cousens, M.D., M.D. (H), D.D., founder of the Tree of Life Foundation, who is also a four-year Native American Sundancer and Eagle Dancer, as their guide, the participants experience the necessary shift in diet and the comprehensive medical protocol for healing diabetes naturally. The foundation for lasting health is a specifically designed program that creates a shift from the “western industrialized diet”, presently mistaken for a “traditional” diet, to an authentic traditional, healthy, anti-diabetic one.
Some of these traditional anti-diabetic foods are corn, mottled lima beans, white and yellow tepary beans, velvet mesquite pods, non-bitter Emory oak acorns, nolpalitos, bellotas, chia, mesquite meal, and prickly pear fruit. Following this authentic traditional diet allowed the Native American cultures to be essentially free of diabetes for hundreds of years. Re-incorporating this wisdom and practice into tribal life offers a return to individual and cultural health.
As the participants are undergoing their own healing and learning process, our plan is to empower them to share this wisdom with others on their home reservation. While at the Tree of Life Center US, select participants will be educated in how to teach diabetic diet and prevention. They will return to their tribes, and with support from the Tree of Life, would begin local support programs.
Their role will be diabetes “health educators”, as well as other active American para-health educators, inspiring the tribes’ people to come to the three-week treatment program at the Tree of Life where they can be fully engaged in the healing program in a protected supportive environment. These Native American “health educators” would be trained by the Tree of Life Foundation and be able to support their fellow tribes-people, who have undergone the Tree of Life Program, in maintaining the program of herbs, lifestyle, and diet once they return to their homes.
A diabetes trained RN will assist as a medical diabetes and health coordinator of this program in cooperation with Gabriel Cousens, M.D., M.D. (H). She will visit the reservations offering additional medical, organizational, and educational support. A key part of the work is diabetes prevention education.