Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Indigikitchen Is Bringing Native Food Sovereignty Online

Food
Wild rice flatbread is one of many Native recipes found in Indigikitchen. Indigikitchen

The online cooking show Indigikitchen is providing a platform to help disseminate Indigenous food recipes — while helping eaters recognize their impact on the planet and Native communities.


"Not only do Indigenous diets provide us with nutritionally balanced, seasonal local food, but they help us recognize the connection to our physical place in the world, as well as the wisdom of those who have come before," says Mariah Gladstone (Blackfeet, Cherokee), founder of Indigikitchen. "This helps us care for ourselves, the land, and each other."

Indigikitchen gives viewers in Native communities the tools and guidance they may need to prepare nutritious food on their own reservations with familiar and innovative recipes — even including crosses with cuisines from other cultures, like Thai and Italian meals. Recent recipes include elderberry barbeque sauce, bison sweet potato poblano stew, wild rice omelets, Idigikitchen pad thai, and peanut butter cookies. Indigikitchen also offers educational programs for in-school learning.

Gladstone notes that taking this guidance to the internet was an obvious choice. "Given that most of us get a majority of our information from the internet, I consider it important to make sure that Indigenous food recipes can also be found in the same place," says Gladstone. "Since people are already excited about eating Indigenous foods, removing barriers to information is one of my top priorities."

With this information, Gladstone hopes that Native communities will become equipped with innovative ways to avoid processed foods and preservatives, which replaced wild game, berries, corn, squash, and rice once colonizing people took the lands used to cultivate these crops. "Our food systems were targeted by colonial powers, though that manifested in different ways across the continent. Dependence on subsidized food systems meant land theft without recourse," says Gladstone. "Regaining the ability to feed ourselves would allow us to function as the sovereign governments we are: producing, processing, and harvesting local foods while exercising control over the policies that govern those systems."

For Indigikitchen, helping native communities harness opportunities for healthy and nutritious food on their reservations is a form of resistance against colonization, with the benefit of revitalizing cultures and pre-contact foods. The online platform also offers people without a Native American background the opportunity to learn about Indigenous food systems in the past and a sustainable future.

"The ways that Indigenous food systems were structured helps us better understand the world around us in our present locations. Not only does this help us relate better to our natural environment and the nourishment that it provides, but it helps us better understand the changes that are occurring, both seasonally and climatically," says Gladstone. "Learning history can guide us towards a better future for all," says Gladstone. Gladstone will speak at Food Tank's summit "The Wisdom of Indigenous Foodways" in partnership with the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University on Jan. 22.

Learning about Indigenous foodways requires non-Native American allies to confront the ways their ancestors have contributed to oppression against Native communities and knowledge. "The role that Native people have played in our daily lives is often minimized or entirely erased. While much of the world's food comes from thousands of years of Native cultivation of corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, chilies, and potatoes, but it is rarely recognized. And by identifying the agricultural genius behind our favorite foods, we also must reckon with genocide," says Gladstone.

But once allies take this important step, Gladstone says there is still work that must be done in supporting Native communities and Indigenous foodways. "Food system change must happen on every level," says Gladstone. "Allies can work on restoring access; especially ensuring Native people are able to hunt and harvest on public lands and that grocery store foods are affordable. Finally, families, both Native and non-Native alike, can learn how to cook foods that are local and sustainable," says Gladstone.

Reposted with permission from Food Tank.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Daniel Yetman

Bleach and vinegar are common household cleaners used to disinfect surfaces, cut through grime, and get rid of stains. Even though many people have both these cleaners in their homes, mixing them together is potentially dangerous and should be avoided.

Read More Show Less
During a protest action on May 30 in North Rhine-Westphalia, Datteln in front of the site of the Datteln 4 coal-fired power plant, Greenpeace activists projected the lettering: "Climate crisis - Made in Germany" onto the cooling tower. Guido Kirchner / picture alliance / Getty Images

Around 500 climate activists on Saturday gathered outside the new Datteln 4 coal power plant in Germany's Ruhr region, to protest against its opening.

Read More Show Less
Dr. Mark Brunswick (2R), Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality, walks through the lab at Sorrento Therapeutics in San Diego, California on May 22. ARIANA DREHSLER / AFP / Getty Images

By Julia Ries

Around the world, there have been several cases of people recovering from COVID-19 only to later test positive again and appear to have another infection.

Read More Show Less

By Samantha Hepburn

In the expansion of its iron ore mine in Western Pilbara, Rio Tinto blasted the Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 — Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. These sites had deep historical and cultural significance.

Read More Show Less
Meadow Lake wind farm in Indiana. Anthony / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Tara Lohan

The first official tallies are in: Coronavirus-related shutdowns helped slash daily global emissions of carbon dioxide by 14 percent in April. But the drop won't last, and experts estimate that annual emissions of the greenhouse gas are likely to fall only about 7 percent this year.

Read More Show Less
Andrey Nikitin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Adrienne Santos-Longhurst

Plants are awesome. They brighten up your space and give you a living thing you can talk to when there are no humans in sight.

Turns out, having enough of the right plants can also add moisture (aka humidify) indoor air, which can have a ton of health benefits.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A bald eagle chick inside a nest in Rutland, Massachusetts. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
A bald eagle nest with eggs has been discovered in Cape Cod for the first time in 115 years, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (Mass Wildlife), as Newsweek reported.
Read More Show Less