American Indians, indigenous teachings, agricultural practices, archeological evidence, assimilation, tribal relationship to land, reservations, modern diets, chronic disease, traditional foods movement, sovereignty

Document Type



Food is an issue that implicates tribal sovereignty for historical, cultural, and public health reasons. This article undertakes a policy analysis of the importance of food to tribal sovereignty, and suggests that tribes, many of which have begun to do so already, make robust use of the concept of "food sovereignty" as part of their overarching project of protecting and promoting tribal sovereignty in general. This article sets the stage for understanding the importance of food sovereignty to tribes by exploring the history of food and culture in the American Southwest, where the public health consequences of changes in diet have been particularly devastating.