Mariah Gladstone

Mariah Gladstone
Location: Babb, Montana Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Food Systems and Nutrition, Obesity, Oral Health, Public, Population and Community Health Populations Served: At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Children and Families, Low-Income Communities, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (NHPI), Native/Tribal/Indigenous People, Rural Communities, Young Children (0-5 years)

Mariah grew up in urban areas in Montana, only recognizing the consequence of food deserts after spending summers with her family on the Blackfeet Reservation. Diet-related health problems are prevalent in Indian Country, with half of Native youth expected to develop Type II Diabetes in their lifetimes. Forty miles from the nearest grocery store, she began working toward food sovereignty through hunting, harvesting, and growing. However, beyond access, she recognizes the need to create community excitement around Indigenous foods. Her educational business, Indigikitchen, teaches individuals about cooking with pre-contact ingredients both online and in community spaces.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Indigikitchen on the Road Website Database of Indigenous Recipes from Indian Country Cooks
Indigikitchen on the Road seeks to build a website database of Indigenous recipes from across the country by showcasing the work of Native cooks from around Indian Country. By providing a place to find these recipes, Indigikitchen makes it easier for families and individuals to revitalize indigenous cooking and improve the health of Native people. By combatting the multigenerational culinary amnesia that was forced upon indigenous communities, the database will help restore knowledge about healthy, traditional, local foods. My project will be focused entirely on the foods that Native community members would like to showcase and build excitement around. My initiative will connect with indigenous knowledge keepers around Indian Country and allow them the opportunity to share their information on a large scale.

As a Blackfeet woman, Mariah approaches her work through both academic and ancestral knowledge. Looking at health beyond simple nutrition, she also stresses affordability, sustainability, and accessibility. She has been recognized as one of 25 Under 25 Leaders in Indian Country, a Champion for Change, and a Grist 50 “Fixer.”

Click here to watch Mariah’s Legacy Project video.