Dina Gilio-Whitaker: The Importance of Food for American Indian Health & Cultural Identity

HMM producer, Anna Steltenkamp, speaks with Dina Gilio-Whitaker. Dina is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, an award-winning journalist, and a lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos. Anna speaks with her about her recent book: “As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock.” Dina also co-authored “‘All the Real Indians Died Off’: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans” with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.

This is the third segment in a multi-part dialogue with Dina Gilio-Whitaker. In this segment, Dina speaks about the importance of food for American Indian cultural identity and personal vitality, as well as efforts to revitalize Native food sources. She addresses how the imposition of foreign food systems, the dependency on Federal Government food programs, and the forced removal from, or degradation of, natural environments and food sources created a multiplicity of health-related issues within Native communities—including starvation, malnourishment, and obesity.

Joanna Pennings

Joanna Pennings

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