Restorying Northern Arapaho Food Sovereignty




Restorying, Food Sovereignty, Foreign Intrusion, Health Disparities, Indigenous, Native American, Food Dignity, Growing Resilience, Arapaho, Colonization


Communities in Indian Country across the U.S. are reconnecting to traditional and healthier food sys­tems, often working explicitly for food sovereignty. This paper contributes to these reconnection efforts by (re)telling the story of the Northern Arapaho food system and the path we are creating toward health and our reclamation of Northern Arapaho food sovereignty. With support from my co-author, I approached data gathering and analysis in a blend of traditional native and conventional western research ways. I use the phrase “foreign intrusion” to help re-name eras in our history when our food system was altered by colonialism, forms of physical and cultural genocide, and assimilation. This “restorying” of the food system history of the Northern Arapaho people provides an indigenized frame for understanding our food system history, impacts of intrusion, and paths for reclaiming Indigenous food sovereignty. My methods include interviews with tribal members (N=16), three talking circles (N=14, 11, and 6), autoethnography, seven years of participation and observation in food sovereignty work, and document analysis, in addition to extensive literature reviews.

Note: This article was produced under the Food Dignity project. See the earlier supplemental issue dedicated to outcomes from the Food Dignity project.

See the press release for this article. 


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Author Biographies

Melvin L. Arthur, University of Wyoming

Research Scientist, Department of Kinesiology & Health, College of Health Sciences

Christine M. Porter, University of Wyoming

Associate Professor and Wyoming Excellence Chair of Community and Public Health; Growing Resilience Principal Investigator; Division of Kinesiology & Health, College of Health Sciences, University of Wyoming



How to Cite

Arthur, M., & Porter, C. (2019). Restorying Northern Arapaho Food Sovereignty. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(B), 69–84.



Indigenous Food Sovereignty Peer-Reviewed Papers