Column: Pueblo students learn to fight diabetes
"The diabetes curriculum being presented in teacher Ricardo Cate's social studies class on this sunny afternoon has yet to mention diabetes.

The 10 seventh-graders have talked about communities and what they can do to enhance the place they live. Ideas? "Keep it clean." "Preserve the language." "Take part in dances."

The discussion bounces between English and Keres, the language of the pueblo, and Cate asks everyone to draw a circle because, "In our culture, things happen in circles."

Inside those circles, the kids carve out the aspects of a full life — physical, mental, spiritual and emotional components — and set about describing how they can make sure they fulfill them: eating healthy foods, being active, participating in the corn dance, paying attention in school, trusting in your self-esteem.

Cate's class would normally be learning about the Revolutionary War at this point in the school year, but Santo Domingo School has decided that learning how to prevent diabetes is more critical to these kids right now.

Diabetes is almost three times more common among Native Americans than in the general population, and a show of hands in Cate's classroom confirms what I suspected. Every student has at least one relative with diabetes."

Get the Story:
Leslie Linthicum: Native American Diabetes Rx: Run, Dance, Pray (The Albuquerque Journal 11/8)