Our History

Notah Begay III, a 4-time winner on the PGA TOUR and only full-blooded Native American golfer, started the foundation to address the negative impact type 2 diabetes has had on his family, tribal community and Native Americans throughout the United States.

The Beginning

Starting with a golf program headed by Notah’s father, Notah Begay Jr., Native American youth from the greater Albuquerque area were introduced to golf, a sport often out of reach for both rural and Urban Native American youth. This program served as an introduction to the positive impact sports can make on a young person’s life: discipline, goal-setting, etiquette, pride and health.\

Physical Activity + Health and Wellness

As the Notah Begay III Foundation’s (NB3F) scope and reach expanded, additional programs were created to further address prevention of type 2 diabetes. In 2009 NB3F launched a comprehensive health and wellness program to ensure a holistic approach in fighting the epidemics of type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity among Native American children. Additionally, the foundation initiated an innovative soccer program at the San Felipe Pueblo, which included the first-of-its-kind professional sports field at a Pueblo.

Research and Evaluation

To ensure world-class programming, NB3F partnered with the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health to evaluate the core activities geared toward preventing the devastating impact childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes has on Native American children. Using advanced technology, Johns Hopkins evaluations have produced key recommendations that have informed modifications to NB3F programs, leading to significant impacts around the reduction of body mass index and improved self-confidence among Native American children. Our innovative programs have been leveraged by tribal communities in 13 different states and reached more than 15,000 Native Americans.

National Center

NB3F’s national center is launching in order to provide strategic grantmaking to tribal entities, as well as technical assistance to allow tribal communities to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of their own type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity prevention programs. NB3F strives to provide capacity-building measures within tribal communities and organizations that will facilitate sustainable prevention programming and improved health and wellness among Native American children.

Since the Notah Begay III Foundation’s (NB3F) inception in 2005, more than 15,000 Native American children, their families and communities have been served by NB3F programming geared toward preventing type 2 diabetes through addressing one of its lead indicators, childhood obesity.

In that time NB3F has become the leading voice addressing the need for attention and action in preventing type 2 diabetes among Native youth. 

Notable achievements and partnerships include the following:

  • Significant statistical reduction in body mass indexes of program participants at San Felipe Pueblo
  • Improved self-esteem and knowledge about healthy eating and exercise among Native youth program participants
  • Ongoing partnership with Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, leading to effective and efficient, evidence-based programming
  • Recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy
  • Partnerships with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Nike’s N7
  • Panelist at the Clinton Foundations inaugural Health Matters conference.


Follow the Foundation

Foundation Contact Information

The Notah Begay III Foundation
290 Prairie Star Rd.
Santa Ana Pueblo, NM 87004

Phone: (505) 867-0775
Fax: (505) 867-0776
Email: info@nb3f.org
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