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“Make Stories That Will Always Be There”: Eagle Books’ Appeal, Sustainability, and Contributions to Public Health, 2006–2022


Indigenous connectedness framework for child well-being created by Ullrich (18). Reprinted with permission from the author.

Figure 1. Indigenous connectedness framework for child well-being created by Ullrich (18). Reprinted with permission from the author.

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Please keep the high-quality hard copy materials (books) coming. It sends a message from CDC that our children are worth it. Their health is worth it.” Teacher, Eagle Adventure. This quote is embedded in artwork that shows a painting of a large smiling moon above a cloudy night sky.

Title is Tribal Leaders Recommend Stories to Help Children Stay Healthy accompanied by a quote: “It is only in recent years that diabetes has become rampant. The stories aren’t there.” Artwork shows a painting of an eagle soaring over mountains. A detailed timeline is included:
2000: Tribal leaders recommend stories for children about staying healthy.
2002: Landmark Diabetes Prevention Program research confirms type 2 diabetes can often be prevented. American Indian persons participated.
2004: CDC and Indian Health Service (IHS) begin creating Eagle Books and educational guides.
2006: CDC Tribal Advisory Committee opens Through the Eyes of the Eagle: Illustrating Healthy Living for Children exhibit of 70 original watercolor illustrations at CDC David J. Sencer Museum, Atlanta, GA.
2006: Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee (TLDC), CDC, and IHS debut Eagle Books at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM.
2008: Lorelei DeCora, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, promotes the Eagle Books and initiates Eagle Books Talking Circles across Indian Country.
2008: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) hosts Through the Eye of the Eagle exhibit (Washington, DC; New York City). Exhibit travels to 22 communities and museums through 2014.
2008: TLDC introduces Diabetes Education in Tribal Schools (DETS) K-12 Health is Life in Balance curriculum at NMAI. DETS curriculum grades K-4 based on the Eagle Books.
2008: USDA SNAP-Ed demonstration grant awarded to Chickasaw Nation and Oklahoma State University for Eagle Adventure.
2010: Keweenaw Bay Indian Community College hosts first Eagle Books community-wide festival. Children attending the week-long event indicated intent to make healthier food and physical activity choices.
2010: University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Extension receives USDA funding to develop and evaluate a Jump-start on Healthy Lifestyle Program addressing childhood obesity prevention with African American Head Start preschoolers, using the Eagle Books for health messaging.
2010: Coyote and the Turtle’s Dream and 4-part graphic novel shown at Comic-Con, NYC.
2011: Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska passes a resolution to support Eagle Books in curriculum for grades 1-3.
2012: CDC launches Eagle Books website.
2012: American Library Association Roundtable recognizes Coyote and Turtle’s Dream, ranking the novel as one of the top 20 government documents of the year.
2012: Eagle Adventure wins the Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health Award. Hummingbird’s Squash, 2nd youth novel, released.
2012: Arizona State Museum and Tohono O’odham youth co-curate Eagle Books exhibit featuring health themes. Community partners create companion teen comic book It’s Up 2 You! in English, two tribal languages, and Spanish.
2013: American Alliance of Museums recognizes Arizona State Museum’s innovative exhibit combining health and art.
2013: Case study evaluation with 8 Indigenous communities that adopted Eagle Books includes interviews with teachers, parents, students, librarians, and health educators.
2014: Eagle Adventure creates companion adult campaign Diabetes Is Not Our Destiny. Eagle Adventure presents at Let’s Move in Indian Country! youth conference.
2017: Trickster of Two Rabbit Mountain released; completes trilogy of youth novels.
2017: Chickasaw Nation hosts eagle watching outdoor program highlighting Eagle Books, attracting 6000 participants.
2017: UMES Extension completes 2nd USDA grant for Jump-start on Healthy Lifestyle, embedding stories, music, dance, and magic tricks.
2019: USDA SNAP-Ed designates Eagle Adventure as an evidence-based program in their community toolkit.
2020: Inspired by Eagle Books, CDC Center for Injury Prevention and Control releases Star Collection children’s stories that celebrate feeling connected to culture and community relationships.
2021: South Dakota State University posts read-aloud Eagle Books in Lakota and Dakota languages.
2021: Based on the Eagle Books’ characters, CDC Foundation and Oklahoma Tribal Engagement Partners create a coloring book, Community Protectors: Children Help Communities Stay Safe from COVID-19.
2022: CDC posts Eagle Books in Spanish.

Figure 2. A timeline of the development and implementation of Eagle Books, 2006–2022. Abbreviation: USDA SNAP-Ed, US Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education.

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Little boy on sofa reading the fourth book in the Eagle Books series, Tricky Treats.

Figure 3.
Child reading Tricky Treats.

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The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions.