How do we bring traditional foods into our homes and families?

by Abaki Beck The following article is an excerpt from “Ahwahsiin (The Land/Where We Get Our Food): Blackfeet Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Contemporary Food Sovereignty,” a report printed by Blackfeet community organization Saokio Heritage in May 2017. The preservation and revitalization of traditional Blackfeet foods and medicines is up to…

Blackfeet Elders Continue to Educate on Traditional Foods with new grant

August 22, 2017 Blackfeet Reservation, Montana. Montanan’s love to eat huckleberries. Each summer fresh wild huckleberries can be found at most farmer’s markets and roadside stand sell jams, jellies, and syrup. But, interestingly, one of Montana’s Native peoples, the Blackfeet, did not eat huckleberries. Why not? Saokio Heritage, a community-based…

Will global warming change Native American religious practices?

Rosalyn R. Lapier, Harvard University- The Colorado River, one of the longest rivers in the United States, is gradually shrinking. This is partly a result of overuse by municipalities and seasonal drought. The other reason is global warming. The decline in the river reservoir will have serious implications for large…

Why Native Americans do not separate religion from science

Rosalyn R. LaPier, Harvard University- Last year five Native American tribes in Washington state managed to repatriate the remains of the “Ancient One,” as they called him, or “Kennewick Man,” as scientists called him. For the tribes, the Ancient One is to be revered as a human ancestor. But for the scientists,…

Why is water sacred to Native Americans?

Rosalyn R. Lapier, Harvard University- The Lakota phrase “Mní wičhóni,” or “Water is life,” has become a new national protest anthem. It was chanted by 5,000 marchers at the Native Nations March in Washington, D.C. on March 10, and during hundreds of protests across the United States in the last year. “Mní…

What makes a mountain, hill or prairie a ‘sacred’ place for Native Americans?

Rosalyn R. Lapier, Harvard University- For several months Native American protesters and others have been opposing the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The plans for construction pass through sacred land for the Native American tribe, Standing Rock Sioux. But, within days of taking office, President Donald Drumpf signed a…

How Standing Rock became a site of pilgrimage

Rosalyn R. Lapier, Harvard University- The Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for investigating, developing and maintaining water and related environmental resources, recently announced that they would not allow the Dakota Access pipeline to be constructed under the Missouri River and through Lakota territory. This decision essentially ended the Standing Rock…

Why understanding Native American religion is important for resolving the Dakota Access Pipeline crisis

Rosalyn R. LaPier, Harvard University-  In recent weeks, protests against the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline across North Dakota have escalated. Native American elders, families and children have set up tipis and tents on a campsite near the pipeline’s path in the hope of stopping the pipeline’s construction. Dave…