“The story of our diet as native people is really fraught… Building strong healthy Native families that are able to feed themselves from the land is resistance in itself.” — Mariah Gladstone

Mariah Gladstone (Blackfeet, Cherokee) grew up in Northwest Montana. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Environmental Engineering and returned home where she developed Indigikitchen. Mariah has been recognized as a “Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow” through the First Nations Development Institute, a “Culture of Health Leader” through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and an MIT Solve Indigenous Communities Fellow. She serves on the board of the FAST (Food Access and Sustainability Team) Blackfeet. Mariah completed her Master’s Degree at SUNY – ESF through the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.

Mariah is founder and CEO of Indigikitchen. A portmanteau of Indigenous, digital, and kitchen, Indigikitchen is an online cooking show dedicated to re-indigenizing our diets using digital media. Using foods native to their Americas, Indigikitchen gives viewers the important tools they need to find and prepare food in their own communities. Beyond that, it strengthens the ties to our cultures and reminds us of the inherent worth of our identities while fueling our physical bodies. Indigenous food systems support healthier ecosystems, bodies, and families.

It’s no secret that healthy eating generally involves avoiding processed foods and preservatives. Indigenous foods like wild game, berries, corn, squash, and wild rice are far easier for the digestive system to process than wheat flour, dairy, and sugar. In the case of Natives, there is the added benefit of cultural revitalization; pre-contact foods, especially those harvested locally, are a testament to the resilience of Native lifestyles and a delicious way of resisting colonization.

Mariah's Featured Titles

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Cooking Classes & Demonstrations, School Residencies, and Educational Lectures

Mariah has lead many online lectures, cooking demonstrations, and cooking classes. Regardless of which format you choose, each presentation contains a history of Indigenous foodways, how everything changed with colonization and relocation of Native peoples, and a discussion of a variety of foods indigenous to this continent and how they can be incorporated into contemporary dishes.

A lecture could incorporate a PowerPoint presentation with maps, information about health outcomes that are the result of the destruction of traditional diets, and other relevant historical data. Mariah could also show some foods (squash, corn, beans, peppers, maple syrup, etc.) and talk about how to use these in recipes.

A cooking demonstration would consist of a lecture — without a PowerPoint — while Mariah is preparing one of her dishes, such as Wild Rice Pilaf or Butternut Squash Soup.

In the cooking class option, a recipe is shared a couple weeks in advance so that participants have time to assemble the ingredients. They will then cook along with Mariah as she teaches them about all of the above topics.

A fairly simple vegetarian recipe to prepare is “Three Sisters Soup,” a dish featuring the important Indigenous staples of corn, beans, and squash. Mariah can also prepare a variety of other dishes, including Wild Rice Pilaf, Stuffed Acorn Squash (with bison, beef, or vegetarian), Blue Corn Crusted Whitefish, or a simple dessert like Sunny Butter Maple Cookies. Some of these recipes do require some pre-cooking ahead of the class — like baking squash or cooking wild rice, each of which take about one hour. The pre-cooking can be done one or two days in advance.

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A Taste of Indigenous Foods

What are Indigenous foods, where do we get them, and how do we prepare them? Many native North American foods, both cultivated and harvested, were removed from our diets through intentional colonial efforts. Mariah Gladstone is leading the way in a food movement that is revitalizing and incorporating these important foods into the contemporary diet. During her cooking demonstration, she will prepare one of her original recipes and showcase other indigenous foods that can easily be used in your own kitchen.

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A Recipe for Resilience

Locally harvested, pre-contact foods are a testament to the resilience of Native lifestyles and should be part of our modern kitchens. Many native North American foods, both cultivated and harvested, were removed from our diets through intentional colonial efforts. Mariah Gladstone is leading the way in a food movement that is revitalizing and incorporating these important foods into the contemporary diet. Her presentation will include a history of Indigenous food systems, as well as the relationship between cultural identity, health, and native plants and animals.

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Native Teatime

For thousands of years, Indigenous people have hunted, fished, farmed and foraged for food on this continent. Mariah practices many of those traditions today and teaches others how to incorporate indigenous foods into their contemporary diets. She will bring a variety of plants she has grown and foraged that have traditionally been used to make tea, such as cedar, yarrow and mint. She will make some teas for participants to sample, then work with them to create their own personalized teas to take home. Throughout this hands-on workshop, Mariah will also discuss traditional Native foodways, changes that took place with colonization, and what is happening with the Indigenous Food Movement today.

Indigikitchen Recipes

Honors, Awards & Recognition

First Nations Development Institute Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader
Named an MIT Solve Indigenous Communities Fellow
Named a Champion for Change,
Named a Grist 50 “Fixer”
25 Under 25 Leaders in Indian Country

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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