Juwede Nutachi & Waruje
My title means Otoe- Missouria & Food that is how they are pronounces in our language. Our tribe was relocated to Oklahoma from the mid-west areas of Iowa and Nebraska. Our tribal people once had diets that consist of game such as Buffalo and Deer; we also fished and gathered food from the land. The traditional diet was very healthy compared to the diet of most tribal members today. Once relocated the tribe had to create farms for raising animals and food to sustain themselves. They had money to buy food from the government, and a majority of the tribe did. The government food was completely unhealthy like lard, starches, and sugar. This would become the normal diet and eating habits of the tribal members and future generations.
Our tribe always comes together to support each other in good and bad situations. When there is a death the community gathers to feed the people, when there is a birthday, graduation, marriage, holiday, any kind of celebration, or even if someone is sick and needs praying the community will gather to have ceremonies and feed the people. The food comes from donations and purchases usually the family or individuals that are hosting the meal. Many people bring dishes and donate money or foods to people that are hosting meals. The community supports each other all the food that is prepared must be given away and prayed for. The food does not go away or the host does not keep it the people eat as much as they can and take what they want home with them. It is a way of saying thank you for the support, help, and love of the tribe and community.
Our tribe is so giving and supportive that we do not realize the bread that we are sharing and making is so unhealthy and can be harmful to our bodies. The desserts and dishes that we take home are unhealthy and cause diseases. As a tribe we need to communicate and make sure we are preparing healthy nourishing meals that will contribute to the traditions of our people gathering to feed each other.