Our Vision is for all Native American youth to lead full and healthy lives, to have equal access to opportunity, and to draw strength from their culture and inspire one another.
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
HOMETOWN: Claremore, OK
Elizabeth Burns is a student at Rogers State University studying Spanish, English and Political Science. She is passionate about promoting healthy nutrition and obesity prevention. She previously served as the president of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council and continues to mentor youth who struggle with obesity, self-acceptance, nutrition and eating disorders.
Elizabeth recently worked on the Navajo reservation with Experience Mission, a nonprofit organization that partners with the community to meet their needs. She has also participated in mission trips to Costa Rica, where she taught English.
Elizabeth maintains a blog to raise awareness of health and wellness issues impacting Native American youth.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) estimates that in 2016, 22% of AI/ANs lived on reservations or other US Census-defined tribal areas while 60% of AI/ANs lived in metropolitan areas.
"An athlete must be strong physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. This is why I have chosen war canoe racing, a traditional sport to promote health and mental wellness. Racing not only brings life back to a traditional and endangered sport, it honors our elders and brings back the teachings and practices of our schlengen -- our way of life."