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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 6, 2015

Contact: Verné Boerner, President & CEO Alaska Native Health Board vboerner@anhb.org (907) 562-6006

Skiku/NANANordic honored with President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award

Anchorage, AK-The President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) has selected Skiku/NANANordic to receive a 2015 PCFSN Community Leadership Award. The award is given annually to individuals or organizations who improve the lives of others within their community by providing or enhancing opportunities to engage in sports, physical activities, fitness or nutrition-related programs.

Skiku/NANANordic's vision is healthy and active families traveling together on skis while enjoying Alaska's vast and beautiful terrain. Skiku/NANANordic brings high-level athletes-Olympians, World Cup athletes and elite high school skiers-to work with children for five days per village. Beginning with four villages and 18 volunteer coaches and 600 people on skis in 2012, the program served the eleven villages in the NANA region by 2013, and 27 villages and 3000 skiers statewide by 2014. The statewide program is now called Skiku, a name that attaches the word ski to the Inupiaq word for ice, siku. In 2015 Skiku expanded to serve 40 communities and 4500 students. NANANordic will continue to operate in the 11 NANA communities where it got its start.

"Skiku/NANANordic has worked to consistently promote physical activity, sports and/or good nutrition throughout their community," says Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director of the Office of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. "For our nation to become healthier, it has to be transformed by acts of people and organizations such as Skiku/NANANordic and because of its efforts and contributions, communities across Alaska can embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle. Together we are all working to make our nation a healthier one."

The Alaska Native Health Board (ANHB) celebrates Skiku/NANANordic; its leadership and vision contributes toward the improved health status of rural Alaska and across the state. We are proud that its beginnings are rooted with tribal programs, with seed funding from Maniilaq Association and NANA Regional Corporation, and has been successfully replicated and grown to a statewide program. It is truly the result of collaboration, volunteerism, and is a work of love from many of Skiku/NANANordic's coaches, participating schools, corporate donors and contributions from many non-profit organizations. ANHB congratulates Skiku/NANANordic leaders, Lars Flora and Robin Kornfield for their leadership and passion. Together, all have helped Alaska's students and rural communities learn to ski.

This year, the President's Council presented the Community Leadership Award to 47 recipients across the country for making sports, physical activity, fitness, and nutrition-related programs available in their communities.

About the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition The Office of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (OPCFSN) works with the Council and, under its authority in Title XVII of the Public Health Service Act, shares the Council's mission to engage, educate and empower all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition. PCFSN is a committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Through partnerships with the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the OPCFSN promotes programs and initiatives that motivate people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to lead active, healthy lives. Specifically, the OPCFSN works to overcome the challenges, and develop opportunities, to promote fitness, sports, and nutrition across the United States. For more information about the Council, visit www.fitness.gov and follow us on Twitter @FitnessGov.

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