Indigenous Foods of Long Ago

The heart of Native American's diet came from the plant nation and were corn, beans, and squash.  Protein sources came from the animal nations  such as the buffalo, fish or deer among others. Most importantly, they still are a critical aspect of their diet today. Some refer to corn, beans, and squash as the three sisters. There is a spiritual connection amongst the three. Beans grow up the corn stalk and the squash grows between them keeping the weeds out so all can prosper. 

Gluten was never a part of the indigenous diet. It was introduced to Indigenous people when the U.S. Government established the reservation system and provided food "rations" which included flour made from wheat. Corn was the main source of flour prior to the introduction of wheat flour. In keeping to an authentic experience, Indigenous Roots offers gluten free foods.

Historically, Native Americans naturally had organic foods. The soil had not been tainted with man-made chemicals of herbicides, pesticides  or fertilizers. There was no toxic waste buried in the ground as a byproduct of industry. The water in lakes and rivers was pure and drinkable without filtration of any kind. Foods could be wild gathered and there was plenty for both humans and animals. Nature was in its purest state. This was the ultimate definition of an organic lifestyle! The time period this occurred was before European arrival. Europeans brought many things that changed the natural environment; domesticated animals and the mindset of manifest destiny just to name a few. 

As part of your immersion experience at Indigenous Roots, you will learn how to prepare and cook traditional meals using, for instance, buffalo. This will happen for our evening meals only. Here's why. Our days are filled with a lot of learning experiences with activities that are not all held in the village.  Traditional meals take a lot of time to prepare, consist of longer cooking times, and culturally requires one to not hurry. There are no meals in minutes when it comes to traditionally prepared meals!  Our breakfasts, lunches, and snacks will consist of items quick to prepare with little to no cooking so that we can get right back to the learning. We will still keep to the organic and gluten free aspect for all meals. In the future Indigenous Roots will be offering specialized programs, for example, that feature all traditional cultural meals, construction of a wickiup, workshops for teachers, and local history such as the Santa Fe Trail. 

At Indigenous Roots we strive to immerse you in an authentic experience as much as possible in these modern times. While we live in a modern era, culture is timeless. Indigenous ancestral cultural thinking and ways of being no matter how ancient are still relevant to life today. Join us for a timeless immersion in the ways of ancient indigenous knowingness about the natural world and the relationship we can still have with nature despite the modernization.  After all, how we approach something with our thinking guides the actions we take.


Pamela Good Wind

I am the education director at Indigenous Roots LLC in Weston, CO.