Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Cheryl Leuning


This Doctor of Nursing Practice project concerns improving the level of food security on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Despite attempts by etic, or mainstream society, food security for the indigenous Oglala Lakota people who live there remains an elusive goal. Life expectancy for both men and women continues to decrease due to skyrocketing rates of chronic diseases related to malnutrition. Although the project initially focused on how effectiveness of etic food security solutions might be improved, unforeseen events prompted and examination of Pine Ridge food security from an emic, or Lakota, perspective. This more personal outlook centered on relationship and triggered a transformational journey that illuminated the author’s unrecognized cultural bias. Turning towards the Lakota viewpoint resulted in an unexpected realization that mainstream efforts to alleviate hunger perpetuate colonialism by reinforcing the hegemony of the etic culture. The legacy of imperialism and its relationship to contemporary health challenges on the Pine Ridge Reservation are discussed. Differences between emic and etic conceptual frameworks surrounding food and nutrition are compared and contrasted. Lakota values and practices that promote food security are explored. A model envisions how nursing actions could facilitate bridging the cultural gap and result in greater food security for the Lakota people. Nursing implications are discussed.


SC 11.DNP.2015.Grund.BE

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Presentation Video