It’s a full house at the 10th annual Aboriginal Diabetes Conference in Prince Albert.
Hundreds of people are on hand to hear the latest thoughts and presentations about the disease and how to manage it.
Attendees are hearing how junk food and a lack of healthy lifestyles are putting many First Nations and Metis youth at risk of contracting the disease.
Kelsey Ring is a dietetic intern with the Mamawetan Churchill River Health Region.
She says hearing information from grassroots citizens first-hand is always valuable in understanding the illness.
Florence Highway is an elder with the Canadian Diabetes Association.
She says much of their focus is on preventing the disease among children:
“It’s the fast-food, the pop, the chips, it’s just something…they don’t even eat a decent meal. They just gobble all this stuff and it’s just so hard on the system.”
Organizers of the conference say it has steadily grown from 50 people to a few hundred.
They feel much of the interest has been garnered by focusing on how culturally relevant foods and traditions can lead to a healthier lifestyle.