Scroll Top

Oklahoma Tribal Engagement Partners

About Us

Oklahoma Tribal Engagement Partners (OKTEP) partners with tribal nations, organizations and agencies to extend culturally relevant programming to youth and families. OKTEP team members have more than 100 years of combined experience developing responsive, action-oriented research-based programs in line with community needs as recognized by community members. 

In October of 2017, OKTEP became the fourth SNAP-Ed implementing agency in Oklahoma. The OKTEP team, formerly SHINE Partners in Indian Country at Oklahoma State University, has developed award winning programs in coordination with the Chickasaw Nation SNAP-Ed program. The Eagle Adventure and Not Our Destiny are examples of nationally recognized approaches to prevent type 2 diabetes among Native American families.

OKTEP is dedicated to improving the lives of Native American youth and families by promoting health equity and social justice.

Program Excellence

OKTEP has received national and state recognition.

In 2017, OKTEP (formerly SHINE Partners in Indian Country at Oklahoma State University) led OSU to recognition as one of four member universities of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) selected as national winner of the 2017 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award. The award recognized the team’s work as exemplary in demonstrating incorporation of learning, discovery and engagement processes for being involved communities.
In 2016, team members accepted the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community-Campus Partnerships for Health Award. The award highlights the power and potential of community-campus partnerships successfully using systems and policy change needed to overcome the root causes of health, social, environmental and economic inequalities. The award recognized leaders who spearhead success in exemplary partnerships between communities and academic institutions that are striving to achieve health equity and social justice.
In 2016, team members were among the first cohort of 40 selected to join Health Policy Research Scholars, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation led by The George Washington University.
In 2014, the Eagle Adventure was featured in an NIH webinar Healing Our Community through Narrative: The Power of Storytelling. In this webinar, the Eagle Adventure program was highlighted in a presentation by Dawn Satterfield, PhD, RN, Native Diabetes Wellness Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video available here.
Our processes for developing a social marketing campaign were included in a review of “Best practices in social marketing among Aboriginal people.” Ontario Health Promotion E-Bulletin, 19 September 2014 – OHPE Bulletin 858, Volume 2014, No. 858, available here. A research article expanded upon the review: Madill, Judith, et al. “Best practices in social marketing among Aboriginal people.” Journal of Social Marketing 4.2 (2014): 155-175.
In 2014, the team participated in a Let’s Move in Indian Country National webinar to share results and practices related to the Eagle Adventure school-based programming. View webinar here.
In 2012, Eagle Adventure received the Rodney L. Huey Champion of Oklahoma Health Award for contributions to the changing of statewide health and recognition for its unique and effective approach to improve Oklahoma health.
In 2009, the Southwest Regional U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program commended the Eagle Adventure program for its unique and innovative programming.
Eagle Adventure recipes have been posted on the SNAP-Ed Connection Recipe Finder here.
The team continues to work to develop culturally relevant and meaningful programs alongside tribal partners with new programs on the horizon. Native American parents and elders have shared a number of ideas for programs that will positively influence the health of families in Indian country.

Capacity Building

The OKTEP team has a demonstrated record in working with tribes to promote health equity. OKTEP will contract with tribes, agencies and organizations to provide technical assistance to help build capacity in coordinated public health approaches. The team is available for contracting in the areas of qualitative and quantitative assessment strategies, health message development, curriculum development and design, tailored recipe development and analysis, strategic nutrition education program planning, and outcomes evaluation. OKTEP team partners are committed to tailoring technical assistance plans based on the needs of the partner. 

Delineating reasons for the disparate occurrence of chronic diseases among diverse limited resource populations is critical to the improved health and well-being of Oklahoma’s population.  Our research team is currently focused on addressing the nutritional needs of Native American families and aims to co-develop, implement and evaluate strategies for communicating nutrition and health information based on local knowledge. 

The approach to programming is “living” in that programs are expanded and revised based on information gained from multi-level evaluation strategies. Input from teachers, parents and Tribal Nations are consistently incorporated to improve educational processes and extend programming to address policy, systems and environmental changes identified as feasible in various settings. 

Transdiciplinarity is necessary to bring about a unity of knowledge to support holistic coordinated and public health approaches. The OKTEP team is transdisciplinary in scope and composition. Our team members are trained in, draw from and collaborate with a variety of disciplines including but not limited to agriculture, anthropology, communications, dietetics, human environmental sciences, international health, marketing, nutritional sciences, and public health. 

Autumn Only A Cheif
Autumn Only A Chief

The kids choose a vegetable or a fruit from the garden, and I describe the health benefits of each one. It’s a very educational and health promoting activity and the students retain information from the lessons well.
Listening to Dr. Parker speak to the teachers and hearing their ideas about how to create a healthier community is really inspiring.”

Keenan Springer
Keenan Springer

I’d like to work in a Native American community where educated minds are needed to make a difference so I can give back to my culture.
My future plans became more solidified after working in the Eagle Adventure program because I got to see the impact the program has on a community. It opened my eyes to the possibility of things I could do in the future.

Student Projects

Students can participate in a variety of OKTEP activities ranging from data entry and analysis to preparation and organization of community events such as health fairs and fun runs. Students learn reciprocity in community-based research and understand meaningful relationships with communities are necessary to promote responsible, community-centered research. They learn that showing up and participating at community events is important to demonstrate shared interest and commitment to community health. A number of students have worked with the OKTEP team over the years. If you are a student interested in an internship or apprenticeship, contact a team member for more information.

The Team

Teresa Jackson,

Tribal Partnerships & Outcomes Partner
405-588-8866 ext. 24
Sarah Miracle,

SNAP-Ed Program Partner
405-588-8866 ext. 21
Ursula O’Hara

Communications, Marketing & Design Partner
405-588-8866 ext. 25
Stephany Parker, PhD

Evaluation & Program Design Partner
405-588-8866 ext. 22