Healthy Foods and Beverages

Food is medicine. The foods and beverages that we consume impact individual and community health. Our first foods, or traditional foods, formed the basis of our ways of life. For centuries, many Tribes and Bands have traveled with the seasons to harvest wild and planted foods. The planting and/or harvest of these foods involve different skillsets, often strenuous physical activity and are inextricably linked to traditional teachings and ways of life.

With colonization, reservations, the boarding school era, countless government policies over the last few hundred years and current food deserts, tribal community access to some or all traditional foods has been limited, while commodity and processed western foods have became basic staples across Indian Country.

Indigenous ingenuity has led to creating new traditions with these new foods; however, our first foods remain an essential part of healthy life, and there is a strong movement among Tribes and tribal communities to reclaim traditional foods and beverages for community health and sovereignty.

Below are resources for promoting healthy foods and beverages in tribal communities.