Colville Federated Tribes, Okanogan Band
31 years old
Physical Activities Lifestyle Specialist, Colville Federated Tribes, Washington
My name is Shelli Martinez and I am a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, Okanogan Band, in Washington State. I had the opportunity to participate in the Alcatraz swim week in 2011 and experience first hand how empowering completing the swim week was for me and my fellow PATHSTAR family members! Being part of the family atmosphere while overcoming so many barriers made me stronger as an individual and enabled me to help others who were struggling in their own lives.
During the week, I’d like to learn more about all of the other participants; their personalities, role in their community, healthy lifestyle barriers they experience and their ideas on how to overcome barriers. I’d also like to learn about healthy foods, drinks, and recreational activities that can be brought back to share with my community, family, and friends.
The learning I’d like to bring back home to apply in my own life is the swim coaching techniques the swim angels provide each participant. Since I completed last year’s swim week I feel much more confident in the open water. I want to glean as many tips as possible from the swim angels so I can help coach my community members that want to swim.
I want to learn about what planning procedures take place leading up to the Alcatraz swim week so I can implement a similar program on the Colville reservation. Our reservation has several beautiful lakes that we could use for open water swim programs, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, water aerobics and so on. Water based recreational activities are FUN and extremely beneficial to our health! When the body is immersed in water, the body weight lightens due to water buoyancy. Because of this, people who take up water exercise experience less strain on their joints, back, and torso. I want to learn about any grants or funding sources that could assist in the start up costs associated with implementing a water sports program.
Our team is fully committed to participating in every part of the PATHSTAR program. We will follow the guidelines set for us and stay on track with our healthy cooking, healthy eating, and exercise routines. During the year following Alcatraz Swim week we will share our triumphant experiences with our friends, family, and at community events and/or conferences. We will represent the Colville Tribes and all First Nation people by honoring our ancestors’ guidance to show kindness, be humble, help others in need, and make healthy choices.
Three goals I will commit to in participating in the PATHSTAR program are:
- Completing the swim week while motivating others to finish.
- Share my experience, the struggles and how I overcame them.
- Be a positive role model for others who need motivation to make healthy choices.
Cheyenne, Arikara, Creek
20 years old
Student at Heald College, Hayward, CA (medical assistant)
Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in PATHSTAR’s swim. I would like to do it all over again this year, not only for the bragging rights but for the knowledge. During the week, I would like to learn more of everything: portion control, nutrition and diet tips, also ways to pass all of this knowledge around. My main focus is to learn more about myself. Last year I learned how to better communicate with people, but also learn what my strengths are, to believe in myself. It was a great self-esteem builder.
By participating in this year’s swim I want to be able to come back home and fell like I really understand what I’m talking about. You can tell people they have to each healthy and exercise daily but if you don’t practice what you preach how do you expect anyone else to listen. I want to apply the learning and teaching of a healthy lifestyle to my everyday life. I want to feel more confident in convincing people that hey not all green food is nasty. I would love to come back and show my family and community what a little exercising and healthy eating can do. Since the swim I lost a total of 23 pounds. That’s pretty darn good, if you ask me.
Since the swim I have been working with organizations based within my own community. Currently the city is trying to tax soda and sugar sweetened beverages. Once the organizer Jeff Ritterman found out I did the swim and what it was all about, he made me the poster child for the tax. I’ve done many speaking events especially in front of the city and its council members. I’ve also been working with Urban Tilth, an organization that is all about growing your own organic fruits and vegetables in your very won backyard. I want to bring back more ideas and knowledge to my community so more organizations and people like Jeff Ritterman will come about. Besides that I am still committed to my volleyball team. Even thought the season is over and a new one is about to start with this new school year, my girls are committed to staying fit and healthy or as they say it “Looking bomb in my spandex.” When I coach that whole season all we drink is water, have a Cliff Bar before the game, and some fruit after. If you feel good you play good, and by cutting out the sodas and chips I could see a huge difference in the way they played and acted. It’s also a huge bragging right to say not only did I swim Alcatraz once but I did it twice!
My goals I am committing to by participating this year is to spread the word about diabetes and to help find solutions like the soda tax. My main goal is to get my family healthy. Since the swim my family has cut back on their soda intake. Each month that has passed less 24 packs are being bought and more water cases are being purchased. Not only with the drinks but I have stayed determined to switch our breads and grains to all whole grain. It was hard but successful. Each baby step is making a difference. My last goal is to continue eating and living healthy. I want to be a lifelong advocate for the fight against diabetes.
Wicahpiluta Candalaria (Luta)
San Jose, CA
30 years old
Volunteer, Native American Health Center, San Francisco
I’d like to participate in the Pathstar Alcatraz Swim Week because being a Type 2 diabetic I need to learn healthy ways. I would also like to challenge myself on a physical, emotional, and mental level. If I can accomplish this swim week then I can show myself that I can beat diabetes.
During the week, I would like to learn more about healthy eating habits pertaining to a diabetic diet, easy activities, knowledge in identifying non-nutritious foods, long term effects of diabetes, and alternative foods for vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
The learning I’d like to bring back to apply in my own life is self encouragement, challenging ones self, overcoming fear, setting goals, and working with others to accomplish them. I’d like to better my health choices and care properly for my body.
The learning I’d like to bring back to share with my family and community is definitely how to make better health decisions and eating healthy within one’s own means, changing bad habits, challenging one’s self and supporting others in a positive manner.
My team is committed to sharing all that is learned and experienced with the community. I am very dedicated to lifestyle changes for the betterment of myself and those who are watching me. I am willing to speak, travel and discuss whenever, wherever possible. I am very excited to participate fully in the Pathstar Alcatraz Swim Week and whatever events are necessary throughout the year.
Josephine Cohen (Joey)
Colville Federated Tribes, Okanogan Band
56 years old
Recording Secretary, Colville Tribal Gamin, Omak, Washington
My name is Joey Cohen and I am enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. My tribal affiliation is Okanogan. I am a single parent and have a 17 year old son. For the past 18 years I have struggled with my weight and am at a point that I need to start eating healthy and following an exercise regime.
I became aware of PATHSTAR last year when Shelli Martinez participated in the Alcatraz swim. At that time I had thought what a wonderful experience it was for her. She shared her pictures on Facebook with so many of us and made us a part of her time there.
I’d like to participate in the PATHSTAR Alcatraz swim because it is such a challenge to me and an opportunity of a lifetime. To be able to accomplish such a feat would enable me to overcome so many self-limitations I have instilled upon myself. I have a lot of fear and anxiety but will do my best to do this. I look forward to meeting the other participants and to hear about what brought them to the Alcatraz swim. Being able to do the Alcatraz swim would most definitely give me the impetus in life that I need.
The advantages of being able to eat very healthy during the week’s stay will be so helpful in my endeavors of weight loss and sustaining healthy eating habits. I hope to learn a lot about preparation of healthy foods and putting meals together.
When I return home I hope to be able to share with others what I learned at and about the PATHSTAR program. Although I do not work in the health field I would be me more than happy to participate in promoting the awareness of healthy living.
Three goals that I will commit to in participating in the PATHSTAR program are to
- be supportive of everyone,
- partake in all activities to my fullest ability and
- learn all that I can. I so look forward to being able to participate in the PATHSTAR program.
Colville Federated Tribes
27 years old
My name is Lisa Marie Edwards and I am 27 years old. I am a member of the Colville Tribes and I am from Omak, Washington. I am interested in participating in the PATHSTAR swim program because I want to overcome some fears I have about swimming in the ocean. Also to say, “I DID IT!” During the week I would like to learn more about healthy eating and snacking. I also want to become a stronger swimmer and learn more about myself and my body.
The things I want to bring home with me are the healthy eating and exercising, ways to stay motivated, and forming a steady daily routine for me. I will give positive motivation and encouragement to eat healthy and exercise and to tell my experience at Alcatraz. My commitment to this experience in the following year is to apply what I have learned and keep it up. I will also keep encouraging others. My three goals are:
- Overcome my fears of the ocean
- Learn a healthy lifestyle
- Complete the swim itself
Colville Federated Tribes
46 years old
Community Health Representative, Omak, WA
I am American Canadian Indian and enrolled with the Colville Confederated Tribes in North Central Washington State. My name is Angela M. (Sellars) Rios, 46 years of age, Wife and Mother. Jose and I have been married for 21 years and 11 months. Our Children are Tony J. Moore who is in College and will soon graduate with his Master’s degree in Nursing, Jose L Rios who is starting his 4 years of College in Business and then our little girl Maria F. Rios who is 12 going on 13 October 08, 12 and has started seventh grade here in the Okanogan County.
Ever since I found out that I was pregnant with my Son is when I had decided to improve myself as an individual so that I can enrich my child/children with positive healthy growth. I started going back to Church to gain my spirituality. Then I started higher education classes and physical exercise. I have stumbled and fell these last 23 years but I have always managed to get right back up and get moving again.
Taking part with the PATHSTAR Alcatraz swim inspires me to test my entire abilities to fulfill the goals of the program. Also, to develop new skills and continue practicing them for my personal strength as an individual, wife, parent, family, friends and community member.
I will pour my mind body and soul into living a healthy life as a Community Health Representative and assist Indian Health Services in delivering health knowledge to help individuals achieve a state of well-being. We do this by providing health education, disease prevention information and by referring clients to the proper resources.would also like to learn more about the teachings of growing organic foods, eating healthy meals/diets, and exercise. This trip would truly benefit me in fulfilling a lifelong dream but would also help in improving my health and in maintaining physical, mental, and emotional fitness.
Clarita Seludo (CJ)
Tlingit, Raven Halibut Clan
28 years old
Hello. My name is Clarita Seludo, but my nickname I go by is CJ. I am Tlingit and belong to the RAven Halibut clan. I am 28 years old. I was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska. I have three wonderful children with my soon to be husband who I’ve been together with now going on ten years! They are my motivation to do this program and get in shape and learn how to prepare and eat healthy enjoyable meals.
I am currently involved with the KIC Diabetes Prevention Program, which I attend weekly. During this program I have been able to motivate myself to exercising daily by going swimming three times a week at 5 AM for one hour and the days I do not go swimming I go to the gym and walk on the tread mill for one hour.
I’d like to participate in the 2012 PATHSTAR Alcatraz swim week because I think this experience will steer me in the right direction with the education of healthy choices on preparing meals for not only myself but my family. And healthy eating habits will help me to better control my weight and help me get in shape.
During the week, I’d like to learn more about preparing meals but still be able to enjoy yummy food!
The learning I’d like to bring back home to apply in my own life is the motivation to exercise an eat healthier as a family and apply what I’ve learned to our life.
What I would bring back to share with my family and/or community is the importance of choosing and preparing healthy meals and exercising daily.
Three goals I will commit to in participating in the PAHTSTAR program are:
- Commit to completing the week successfully, getting educated so I can bring it back to my community and share it with others who are in my same situation diagnosed with pre-diabetes or even diabetes.
- Be involved as much as I can with what goes on throughout the week.
- Commit to completing the swim. I believe that this is a great challenge for me and will give me courage to motivate me to exercise more to lose the weight I need to and get in shape not only for me but for my kids and my family as well.