Chante’ Project

Logo and symbol meaning

Heart: Chante’, in the Lakota language means heart, and is the basis for the Chante’ project. It is this important organ that is suffering due to diseases such as obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure due to poor diet, lack of exercise and other bad lifestyle choices. These and other diseases are ever increasing and as a result it is the heart of this nation, its people, especially the future generations who are suffering and in danger.

Turtle: As pertains to the Chante’ project, turtle is a reference to Turtle Island or Mother Earth, a term some Native American people use for this country. It is in Turtle Island/the U.S., that as a result of unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle choices, preventable illnesses such as obesity, and diabetes are common. In this same vein turtle symbolizes the necessity of looking to Mother Earth for natural, healthier food options, as well as working with, not against the Earth in resource use. Turtle also symbolizes perseverance, as neither changes, or results, will happen overnight. It will take effort and dedication, not just from the Chante’ Project, and others seeking to change current habits, but also from individuals, who want to live healthier, for noticeable change to be seen.

Wild Turnip: This indigenous root was traditionally part of the diets of some

non-agricultural Native American Nations. In the past, people ate to live, but today, more often than not, people live to eat as seen by current eating habits. Just as the future generations were taught how to locate plants that were safe to eat, wild turnip symbolizes the need to become self-sufficient in choosing the right foods to nurture our bodies and ignore the advertisements for unhealthy foods.

Waves: Water equals life, without water there can be no life. It symbolizes the fact that our bodies are made up of 75% water. We also need to be stewards of water resources such as rivers, lakes, streams and the ocean.

Corn beans and squash: Otherwise known as the three sisters within traditional Native American agriculture. Just as corn supports the beans during growth those who seek to live a better, healthier life need to be supported and encouraged. As the beans provide the right nourishment for the corn and squash, more of the right foods should not only be consumed but also made more accessible and available to everyone. Also like the squash, which protects the soil from drying out, and keeps weeds from forming, there should be more of an emphasis on drinking water and protecting the body through healthy habits so that the weeds of disease are not allowed to grow.

Foot Print: Symbolizes physical activities such as walking or running, as well as a person’s health footprint left for future generations. It is also a reminder to those with diabetes to look after their feet and maintain proper foot health.

Family: Symbolizes how this project will not only help men, women and children in Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio, but also on our sister reservations in North and South Dakota.

Jump rope: Getting out and being active, not only makes you feel good physically but mentally as well. There is a link between exercise and mental health. Mood lifting chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin are released into the body during exercise, and is said to help in relieving mild forms of depression. Exercise coupled with a healthy diet are the keys to a healthy lifestyle.

Stethoscope: A reminder to get regular check ups and to listen to our bodies. Just as the doctor listens to our heart to check for possible problems, we should be aware of our bodies, and listen to any unusual or abnormal changes inside and out.