Cecilia Kayano, editor of Health for Native Life magazine, visited the Timbisha Tribe March 15-17 to interview and photograph. The magazine is a publication of Indian Health Service Department of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention. On Cecilia’s first day in the village, Barbara Durham, THPO, showed her around and gave her information about the tribe.
Staff from the Toiyabe Health Department were there to hand out pedometers to tribal members and start a walking program. The next day, Elder Program Staff from Toiyabe came with lunch and crafts. Cecilia says she had a great time. “Everyone was so kind, and funny! The friendship was very apparent. These good feelings will come through in the story and photos,” she said.
Cecilia, who lives near Seattle, Washington, says she loves Death Valley, and has driven past the Timbisha Tribe’s sign many times, always wanting to write a story about the people who live there. While on her travels to other tribes across the country, she discovered many Native people were curious, too. “When Native people find out there’s a tribe in Death Valley, many are surprised. People want to know how the Timbisha people live,” she said.
The healthy lunch, distribution of pedometers and camaraderie will make for a perfect story, she said. “It’s great to see how the Timbisha people are taking steps to eat healthy foods, and be physically active. And, they are doing that when they live one hour from a grocery store, and have summers of 120-degree heat! Their story will definitely inspire other Native people across the country.”
The Timbisha story will appear in issue number 10, which will be printed later in the year. It will be about how Timbisha village residents are staying healthy in the desert. To get on the mailing list to receive free copies of Health for Native Life (including the most recent issues #8 and #9), send an email with your request and mailing address to [email protected] or call Cecilia Kayano at (360) 273-6501.