Reclaiming Indigenous Food Systems with Danielle Antelope

The Dandelion Effect

Feb 11 2023 • 59 mins

Danielle Antelope is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and Eastern Shoshone (shu-show-nee) Nation. Born and raised in Browning, MT, she graduated from MSU with a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Food & Bioenergy Systems, where she deeply studied indigenous food systems relating to her own people as well as other communities around the country.

While in college, she served on the board of Food Access and Sustainability Team Blackfeet, known as FAST Blackfeet, and at only 26 years old, is now the organization’s Executive Director. FAST Blackfeet provides access to healthy and culturally relevant foods, nutrition education, and gardening/wild harvesting opportunities within the Blackfeet Nation.

In this conversation, we dive into Native American history through the lens of the different generations of her family, beginning with her great grandmother, who was the last generation to be born in tipis, live off the land and eat a traditional diet. Her grandmother was the generation of strict reservation boundaries, when ceremonies and gardens were made illegal, and the government introduced commodity rations after killing off their main food source: the buffalo.

Her mother’s generation is what she calls the “survival foods” era, when the diet shifts to dishes like fry bread and other recipes made from colonial ingredients like wheat, oil and sugar. And now Danielle's generation, the ones who have inherited food insecurity, chronic disease and generational trauma—but who also have a unique opportunity to heal, to reclaim indigenous knowledge and wisdom, and grow from what’s been done to their communities.

FAST Blackfeet programs like the Food Pantry, Food Pharmacy, and Growing Health Program are reclaiming traditional Blackfeet foods like organ meats, wild berries, loose leaf teas, and bone broths, while inviting tribal members to reconnect with their ancestral roots and build back stronger than ever.

FAST Blackfeet Website

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