On Tuesday, Oct. 6 the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council made an honorary proclamation that the month of October on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation would be recognized as Southern Ute Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Wanting to bring more awareness to the reservation and the Ignacio community the tribe encouraged all community members to honor and recognize the resilience of those living with, and those who have died from breast cancer
“We need to keep moving forward and we should always keep those who are fighting breast cancer and those who have passed in our hearts.” Vice Chairwoman Ramona Eagle said.
The American Cancer Society states that in 2015 an estimated 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed. The American Cancer Society also states that of those diagnosed 40,290 are expected to die. Women are not the only sex that can be diagnosed with breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society 2,350 men are diagnosed and 440 will die from the disease.
With the overwhelming number of diagnosis and deaths that occur each year the number one priority of the tribe is to educate and support its community.
“It’s refreshing to see people in leadership take a proactive roll in prevention,” Robin Duffy-Wirth, Fitness Director at SunUte Community Center said.
With that, a month long awareness campaign was erected. Employees bonded together and wore pink throughout the month, screening times were made available to tribal employees through the tribes CHR Department, and in honor of the proclamation; the tribe hosted, “Make a Pledge Day.”
On this day employees and community members were able to come out and make a pledge to better their health and support cancer awareness. The pledge also included a one-mile walk followed by snacks provided by Shining Mountain Health and Wellness.
“This Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign the tribe is doing is only going to get bigger and better, if we as a tribe and as the Permanent Fund can come together and support each other we will be able to make positive strides in the effort to beat breast cancer,” Trennie Collins, public relations coordinator of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe said. “I feel like it’s our job to support and bring awareness to our community … I would like to thank, SunUte Community Center, CHR Department and Shining Mountain Health and Wellness for all their help in making everything a success”