Health Problems

Using the Wrong Terminology

Most Natives want to eat “traditionally,” but the term “traditional” varies from person to person. Some Indians like to call their food “traditional” without knowing what that term means. Many Natives, for example, eat a tremendous amount of fried bread, arguing that “Indian Tacos” are “traditional,” without knowing that wheat, in addition to milk products, beef, pork, goat, sheep, chicken, eggs and many vegetables are not Indigenous to the New World. Indeed, it is not correct to call them, or dishes made from them, “traditional” foods. As one friend commented about this project, “I am so glad to shout from the rooftops that "Fry Bread" is not "our" indigenous food and I hate that we have allowed it a place of reverence in our communities. I like a piece of fry bread with my stew every now and then but it has taken over.” Why have so many Natives latched onto such a deadly food that offers little except for a few nutrients and a plateful of fat? Anyone who has tried to convince a fried bread or “Indian tacos” fan that these are not traditional foods knows how close to impossible it is to change their minds!