Tobacco Prevention and Control:
American Indian Grant Program

In Minnesota, tobacco use is highest in American Indian populations; 59 percent of American Indians in Minnesota smoke. This grant program provides a comprehensive approach to reducing tobacco-related disparities among American Indians living in Minnesota by providing education and policy grant awards to tribal governments.

This program addresses the high prevalence of commercial tobacco use in tribal communities across the state by building strong, community-based tobacco control programs. Community initiatives include cessation programs, systems change, such as incorporating smoke-free policies in some community settings, and cultural awareness activities to educate community members about the harms of commercial tobacco. Many tribes are promoting healthy communities free of commercial tobacco and are growing Asema for use as an offering, a gift, and for ceremonial use.

Additionally, the promising practice of passing tribal resolutions, laws, or policies that protect their members from tobacco smoke continues to spread throughout Minnesota’s tribal communities.

Grantees include:


American Indian Grant Program grantees

Ain Dah Yung (Our Home) Center

Ain Dah Young Center logo

The Ain Dah Yung Center works to train and empower metro area American Indian youth to promote and advance smoke-free spaces in the Saint Paul American Indian community. Ain Dah Yung uses cultural practice in a strength-based approach to prevent the initiation of commercial tobacco abuse among American Indian youth in the community. Ain Dah Yung Center also strives to decrease tobacco use among youth by engaging them in cultural education activities like singing and drumming groups, sweat lodge ceremonies, harvesting of plants, and cultural teachings.  

Every year, youth in this community host a smoke free powwow and a statewide tobacco prevention and wellness symposium.

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Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa logo

The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa works to reduce commercial tobacco use among its members by educating them on how to live healthier. They also involve the community in the development and implementation of tobacco messaging, engage community members in cultural education activities about the traditional use of tobacco, as well as provide smoking cessation services.

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Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Fond Du Lac logo

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa provides culturally specific cessation services, as well as education and outreach activities about the cultural teachings traditional tobacco and the hazards of commercial tobacco use. Additionally, they plan and implement activities to prevent and reduce the misuse of tobacco and decrease exposure to secondhand smoke.

Recently, the Fond du Lac Reservation Business Committee voted not to approve the sale of e-cigarettes at their C-store.

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Grand Portage Band of Chippewa

Grand Portage logo

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa works to decrease commercial tobacco within their community by providing cessation services and engaging members in cultural education activities around the traditional use of tobacco, and by planning and implementing activities that will help their community members to live happy and healthy lives. They train their members to be advocates for a healthier community.

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Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches

Division of Indian Works logo

The Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches operates the Division of Indian Work, which promotes the advancement of smoke-free policy in the Minneapolis American Indian community. They also work to decrease youth commercial tobacco use by providing education on spiritual use of tobacco, as well as engaging youth in cultural activities like wild rice harvesting, drumming and beading.

The Division of Indian Work has been successful in advancing smoke-free grounds policies and is continually working on advancing more policies through the end of the grant cycle.

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Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Leech Lake logo

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe promotes healthy communities by providing cessation services, as well as cultural education and prevention activities to Leech Lake youth.

These youth conduct assessments of the readiness of pow-wow goers to accept the designation of smoke-free areas with the goal of implementing a smoke-free policy for at least one major community pow-wow.

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Lower Sioux Indian Community

Lower Sioux logo

The Lower Sioux Indian Community works on decreasing commercial tobacco within the community by engaging its members in cultural education and outreach activities, such as powwows, health fairs, annual diabetes awareness events, drum groups and boxing practice.

The Lower Sioux Indian Community also trains youth to promote smoke-free spaces in many settings, which has led to the Lower Sioux casino, Jackpot Junction, becoming smoke-free in all non-gaming areas of the facility.

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Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Mille Lacs logo

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe works to decrease commercial tobacco within the community by engaging its members in cultural education and outreach activities about the traditional use of tobacco, such as powwows, health fairs, and their community newsletter.

Through this work, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe passed 25 foot no-smoking policies in all Health and Human Services buildings, as well as a no smoking policy for their State of the Band Address.

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Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

Red Lake logo

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians provides culturally specific cessation services to their members, as well as cultural education activities at their annual diabetes prevention conference, annual teen health fair, and Smart Girl’s program (youth sharing stories). At their employee health fair they provide education on the dangers of secondhand and third hand smoke.

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians also trains youth to promote smoke-free policies in a variety of settings, which led to a smoke-free policy for all Boys and Girls Club events, including adult softball tournaments and a highly visible golf tournament.

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Upper Sioux Community

Upper Sioux logo

The Upper Sioux Community provides cessation services to its members, as well as cultural tobacco education at events like their Suicide Prevention community event, health fairs and powwows.

This Upper Sioux Community is also developing an incentive to quit program.

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White Earth Reservation Tribal Council

White Earth logo

The White Earth Nation has a vibrant tobacco coalition that has implemented smoke-free policies for the tribal college campus, transportation building, and veteran’s community center. White Earth Nation also supports a clinic-pharmacy tobacco cessation program, as well as smoke-free policies and programs in the community’s middle school and high school.

The White Earth Nation works to create tobacco free environments by actively working on getting youth and parent involvement in their tobacco free efforts.

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Updated Friday, October 03, 2014 at 12:41PM