Re-Indigenizing food preparation and consumption is about restoring the spiritual, mental, physical and emotional wellness of the people. Ancestral eating is a growing movement across Native country as well as other parts of the world. Some recognize it as Decolonizing Diet, Ancestral Diet, or Tribal Food Sovereignty. In short, following an ancestral way of life means eating wholesome, natural, organic Indigenous foods – just like our ancestors did for thousands of years.
Since time immemorial, food has been at the center of the Indigenous cultures of turtle island. Through hunting, gathering and agriculture, meats and plants were hand processed in several different ways. Harvest ceremonies were done, songs were sang, dances were danced and words of giving thanks were recited in great depth to all the plants and animals who sacrificed their lives to nurture our existence. Indigenous peoples were dependent on the natural cycles of mother earth and the great spirit. Being in alignment with those natural spiritual and physical forces was a way of life of our ancestors that has brought us this far as nations.
Colonization led our people to believe that Western medicine, foods and technology would improve our health. In fact, the overall health and wellbeing of the people was vastly superior prior to the introduction of Western toxins. Euro-American culture has furthermore influenced our people to devalue the spirituality of food, ultimately leading to the deterioration of our people's health and our traditional social structures that were held intact by community and family agriculture, hunting, and gathering.