Healthy Archuleta Presents Community Learning and Leadership Fellow Joline LeftHandBull

Joline LeftHandBull

By Rose Chavez | Food System/Food Equity Coalition

The Archuleta County Nutrition Security and Health Equity Assessment, which began in December 2021, continues its ongoing work to engage the community through a community learning and leadership circle (CLLC) which meets weekly.

The CLLC is comprised of a diverse group of community members from Archuleta County who have committed to contributing to the design of the assessment during this first phase of the project, which will conclude at the end of June.

CLLC members engage in learning through module presentations facilitated by Healthy Archuleta and partner organizations on the concepts of nutrition security and health equity.

Each week, CLLC members helped inform assessment with respect to 1) access and utilization of primary/preventive health care (coverage, timeliness, manpower and services) and 2) strengthening our community food system (food production, processing, marketing and distribution, food procurement and preparation, nutritious food consumption, food safety, food waste prevention and resource recovery).

A community-based participatory approach is used to capture the voices and lived experiences of people related to access to food and primary/preventive health care in Archuleta County. Additionally, food and health care organizations will have the opportunity to share information regarding primary/preventive health care and food efforts.

Healthy Archuleta shares individual profiles of CLLC community members who serve their community in this capacity. This week, we feature CLLC member and community leader Joline LeftHandBull.

1. Health is the new wealth. What does this mean for your health and the health of your family in Archuleta County? “For me, that means taking care of myself so that I can take care of my family and my community. For me, that means taking care of myself so that I can shape and take care of others around me. For us, our family, we are trying to figure out if we can afford what it means to eat healthy and be active on a daily basis. It’s a question of priorities. For me, I define family as anyone I am regularly connected with because we always interact and those relationships are important and show how interconnected we are. We value these relationships in my indigenous culture and want to bring these people together in our circle since family and health go beyond blood.

2. What are your ties to Archuleta County? “My children go to school here. It’s what brought me here and what binds me to this community. Additionally, over the past few years, I have been involved in the work of Healthy Archuleta to bring about positive change so that more members of the community can benefit from access to fresh, nutritious food.

3. What do you see as your role within the CLLC for the assessment of nutritional security and health equity? “I see my role as using my voice and being involved in making changes that will impact my children and the community now and long into the future. I want my children and the next generation to be involved and take advantage of every opportunity to be healthy in Archuleta County. I also see my role as learning and asking questions so that I can make changes in the community so that everyone can benefit. Sharing my lived experience and knowledge, as well as listening to and learning from the experiences of others regarding the issues we discuss in this community has been an integral part of the CLLC process. Sharing knowledge and skills is helpful to others so that we can collectively excel and be healthy together. »

4. What is your vision of a healthy Archuleta? “Having a space and room for dialogue in our community to support the diverse ideas and creativity of community members is my vision so that we can create more leadership opportunities, events and gatherings around health . I also want this vision to include helping the next generation engage and value working with a diverse group of people, regardless of age, skin color, politics or language they speak. I also believe that centering Indigenous and Hispanic knowledge will also provide a restorative framework for health that is accessible to all. Ultimately, we are all trying to do the same for our families and move our community forward. Many of us want to be agents of change for our children so that they can be more successful and overcome the obstacles that have been stumbling blocks for many generations.

5. In your opinion, what is critical in CLLC’s learning and leadership dynamics for this evaluation? “Learning… the knowledge, the work, the phrasing, the ideas… how everything and everyone has put in so much effort up to this point every week since January. Just getting together with other members of the community who live different lifestyles than yours but have similar values ​​is amazing, motivating and uplifting to hear different points of view each week. Finding solutions is easier when you have a variety of perspectives to work with. Have an open mind, be positive. Having everyone at the table is powerful. This is optional but everyone shows up every week because it’s important. It makes you feel valued as a human being and as a member of the community. Knowing that you are there once a week is important for group participation. It’s like a refinement of ideas. It is an intensive time each week and respectfully taking all that is presented to us at this time and working together to accomplish in a timely manner is a worthy challenge to the health of our communities now and an investment in the future.

For more information, please contact us at [email protected] or (401) 371-3227. To donate to support the work of Healthy Archuleta, please visit: https://www.foodcoalition4archuleta.org/donate.html.

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