11/23/2012 09:57 am ET Updated Dec 04, 2012

Innu Tribe Diabetes Rates Increase In Recent Years (PHOTOS)

Three years ago, an Innu man walked more than 300 kilometers to raise awareness about the alarming rise of type 2 diabetes among the aboriginal hunter-gatherers in Northeastern Canada.

Before embarking on his three-year journey, Michel Andrew, 27, told Canadian broadcaster CBC News that he believes his people, particularly the younger generation, need to return to traditional ways, such as walking everywhere and eating a more traditional diet.

“Imagine, in ten years time, the whole community could have diabetes," Andrew said, according to Survival International, an international organization campaigning for the rights of indigenous tribes. “Everyone could be losing limbs. I want to help my people by setting up cooking programs to help educate communities about nutrition, and reduce levels of diabetes.”

Diabetes has emerged as a major global health issue, affecting 8.3 % of the adult population, suggests the International Diabetes Federation in its latest report. A staggering 366 million people in the world are suffering from the disease and according to U.N. estimates, 50% of indigenous adults over the age of 35 worldwide have type 2 diabetes.

Check out the slideshow below to see how Survival International examines the causes behind the escalating rates of type 2 diabetes among the Innu.

The Innu Tribe

Photos and captions arranged by Joanna Eede of Survival International.