I want to welcome you to the Indigenous Food Revolutionary blog! I'm Laticia. A member of the Wolf clan, I am enrolled Six Nations Mohawk but grew up at the Tuscarora Nation community in Western New York. I am a Ph.D. candidate, specializing in Haudenosaunee and Native American Studies at the University at Buffalo. I earned my M.A. from the University of Oklahoma in Native American Studies. My overall academic work has involved Haudenosaunee/Native American Studies with particular interest in food studies, Native health, and food sovereignty, twentieth-century American Indian activism, contemporary sovereignty issues, indigenous language and spiritual tradition revitalization, and Native literature.
My dissertation research titled, “Tetewatskà:hons ne Sewatokwà:tshera (We Eat From the ‘Dish with One Spoon’): Reclaiming Haudenosaunee Food Traditions” explores the food traditions, diet, and practices of the Native American Haudenosaunee nation, more commonly known as the Iroquois. Located amongst the Great Lakes region and beyond, the Haudenosaunee confederacy communities have a rich history in indigenous foods and food sovereignty practices. At the same time, U.S. Indian policy history has had a tremendous colonizing impact on Native American diet and bodies. My research examines the ways Haudenosaunee people today negotiate these traditional food practices with contemporary realities and the potential for reconnecting to Indigenous knowledge, foods, and language through community-engaged activism. Here at this blog, I hope to share research ideas, thoughts, knowledge, Mohawk language, and recipes as I continue along this journey.
In addition to my academic journey, I have been on something of a health journey. As a young adult, I encountered several health issues. For years, I have dealt with weight struggles, Type I diabetes (insulin-dependent), and multiple autoimmune conditions. The challenges of these conditions accumulated over the years up until a point where I was very sick. On July 31st 2012, I decided I no longer wanted to feel bad anymore and I would do everything in my power to change that. With the help of a naturopathic doctor, I began a process of elimination in my diet. I immediately removed all of the WHEAT/GLUTEN, DAIRY, ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS, REFINED SUGARS, PEANUTS, WHITE POTATOES, HIGHLY REFINED GRAINS, HIGH GLYCEMIC FRUITS like oranges, grapes, and bananas, or DRIED SWEETENED FRUITS/FRUIT JUICES, and PROCESSED FOODS in general. When possible, I would do my best to buy foods that were ORGANIC, NON-GMO, ORGANIC, GRASSFED, FREE RANGE, or CAGE-FREE. I also tried my best to be mindful about the origins of certain fish, usually looking for WILD-CAUGHT or FARMED, but being careful about contamination. I have been making considerable efforts to feature traditional indigenous foods as part of my regular sustenance.
Today, one year later, I am 75 lbs. lighter than I was and have seen improved health. My HbA1C (measure of blood sugar control over the past 3 months or so) has gone down. My other numbers have been coming down too. I started challenging my body by weightlifting and working with a personal trainer. I continue to learn about health, foods, the body, the mind, and knowledge of sustenance. I am inspired by Indigenous food philosophies, the year long cycle of food, and Haudnosaunee spiritual practice and sustenance. I love to cook and think of new meal ideas and inspirations. Though the past several years have had their share of pain and ill health, I am very thankful I have found the path I am on. I hope my story and blog brings some hope, comfort, or happiness to inspire others. Nia:wen.
***Disclaimer: This information provided herein should not be construed as a health care diagnosis, treatment, or prescribed health care advice. The publisher of this blog is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession. Those in need of medical advice or care are advised to see the appropriate health care professional.***