Title: Cherokee Choices

Cherokee Choices is a chronic disease prevention program for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians under the Public Health and Human Services Division.

Vision: Generations of Wellness

Mission: To Promote Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, & Cultural Well-being among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in order to prevent Chronic Diseases.


• In Schools: Mentors work with Cherokee Central School Students on self esteem, cultural pride, conflict resolution, emotional well-being and health knowledge. Programs include the Healthy Halloween Fair, Walk & Talk, Vision & BMI screening & serving on the School Health Advisory Council (SHAC).

runners in race

• Mother’s Day 5K Walk/Run: Held at Kituwah Mound the Saturday before Mother’s Day.


• Turkey Strut 5K: Held at Kituwah Mound the Saturday before Thanksgiving.


bike riders from behind

• Remember the Removal Ride: 8 selected riders retrace the northern route of the Trail of Tears on a bicycle 950 miles. The project includes 6 months of training, history education, Cherokee Syllabary classes and genealogy classes leading up to the ride. The EBCI partners with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma for the ride and it occurs in June each year. The application process begins in October.


group of girls ready to zipline

Cherokee Choices Summer Camp: June 17 - 28, 2019. An outdoor-based summer camp promoting wellness for youth 9-12 years of age among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Participants must apply. Acceptance is based on need and commitment to the camp. Activities include Cherokee culture and language, nutrition & wellness lessons, outdoor activities such as zip lining, whitewater rafting, horseback riding; skill building such as Leader in Me, Pottery, Kid’s Smoothie Bar; & a Kid’s Club: Golf, Yoga/Arts & Crafts, Gardening/Kids in Kitchen, BFS (Bigger Faster Stronger).


teacher and womans yoga class

• Stress & Healing Arts Retreat. March 21-22, 2019. Application. A 1-1/2 day retreat focusing on stress reduction and healing from grief and trauma. Sessions include historical grief & trauma, Cherokee culture, healing touch, massage, arts & crafts, tai chi, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy & life coaching. Free and open to everyone. Limited space is available, you must apply (18 years and older -15-17 years with an adult in attendance).


• Cherokee Kitchens: Monthly healthy cooking show promoting healthy meals & traditional Cherokee Foods. Airs on Channel 28 and is shared on EBCI Communications & Cherokee Choices facebook page. Episodes include learning how to make Traditional Teas, Bean Bread (Facebook video), and Quick and Easy Meals (Facebook video) & many more!


• At work: Nutritionists, dietitians, and fitness workers help tribal members participate in activities at their work sites that are designed to help them reduce stress, eat healthier foods and increase their physical activity levels.


• The Cherokee Community Wellness Team was initiated to give community members a role in making Cherokee a healthier place to live, work, and play. CCWT projects include Feeding America Food Drive, Food Lion Healthy Cooking Demonstrations (last Thursday of the month 3-5pm), and promotion of health activities. Support of Tribal Leadership includes 15 minutes of administrative leave daily for physical activity or health education for tribal employees (with supervisor’s approval). To enroll contact Robin Callahan, robibail@nc-cherokee.com. Check out the 30 second video clip below.

Contact Shelby Parker at 359-6783 or by email to learn about our Facebook Challenges, facebook groups, virtual events and e-mail listserve.

Fitness Classes are FREE and open to everyone! All classes are at the Ginger Lynn Welch Community Room. For more info contact Shelby at Cherokee Choices at 828-359-6783.

High intensity interval workouts that engage your max effort for short periods of time. At Cherokee Choices. To sign up contact Yolanda Saunooke at 356-6784 or yolasaun@nc-cherokee.com.

Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP). At Ginger Lynn Welch Complex. 6 week class to take charge of your diabetes. Must commit to at least 5 classes and sign up in advance. Learn more

16-week classes to provide support for making healthy lifestyle changes: nutrition, physical activity, goal setting and stress management. At Ginger Lynn Welch Complex and at Snowbird Rec Complex. Requirement: at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. Call the main number for information on program schedules.

CTP is a diabetes prevention program for Eastern Band Cherokee Indian youth. The program is for children 7-12 years of age that are at a high risk for diabetes or are overweight. Call the main number for information on program schedules.

To learn more about Cherokee Choices: A Diabetes Prevention Program for American Indians, click here for an in-depth article published in Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC).


Cherokee Choices building


Ginger Lynn Welch Complex
810 Acquoni Road
PO Box 666
Cherokee, NC 28719

Robin Callahan, RD, LDN, MHS
Program Director

828-359-6782 (main)

Monday - Friday
7:45 am - 4:30 pm

Frances Maney
Office Administrator

Yolanda Saunooke
Behavioral Change Specialist

April Innis, RD, LDN, MHS, CDE
Nutrition & Fitness Coordinator

Victoria Trammell
Nutrition & Fitness Education Coordinator

Shelby Parker
Program Assistant

Keahana Lambert
Prevention Specialist

Corlee Thomas-Hill
Remember the Removal Ride Coordinator


Cherokee choices logo