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Nutrition program actions insensitive to community

Jan 2, 2014 - Teresa Hanway, Arapahoe


The Cent$ible Nutrition Program, under the auspices of the University of Wyoming, is undergoing turbulent times.

A petition is being circulated asking that leadership in this program be removed, terminated or replaced by someone who better understands the values, morals and ethics of the Native American people within the Wind River Indian Reservation communities.

This program, under the direction of the current supervisor, has violated indiscretions toward our handling of the food it provides, has terminated Native American employees who voice their opinions toward these actions, and utilizes the "at-will" status to remove them.

The University of Wyoming, through Frank Galey, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has been quoted as saying that no action will be taken until the results of the Farm Bill are known in the U.S. Congress. The farm bill administers the funding for such programs as this one.

But the issue here is, why are culturally-insensitive people allowed to work within the reservation communities, terminate Native American people, continue their indiscretions toward the handling of food, which is sacred, and be allowed to continue their bad deeds?

I heard about this and have talked to a number of individuals who have been affected by this turmoil and felt compelled to at least express my opinion regarding the situation. It is difficult not to be upset, especially when you hear of one laid-off employee who is a single mother of four and who gets by on food stamps, which is the main focus of this program.

She has no income, had no Christmas for the kids, and much less -- how is she going to survive? She spoke up about the abuse, and that appears to be what got her fired. Another was terminated last Tuesday. Wow, what a Christmas present for that family.

There are others who were let go, and there are too many tales to tell here. Whoever is in charge of administering programs to poverty-level and culturally-relevant programs, please re-evaluate your actions and correct these terrible wrongdoings.

The petition will be sent to the University of Wyoming, to the Shoshone and Arapaho business councils, and any and all responsible for these indiscretions.

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