BABB, Mont. - A north western Montana woman is uniting people across the nation by celebrating the power of healing through online cooking tutorials. Her efforts are gaining national attention.

Mariah Gladstone of Babb started 'Indigikitchen' in 2016, but the online platform has taken off during the pandemic. Gladstone connects people using basic culinary skills and nutritional values to teach them creative new recipes that also serve up a taste of history. 

The name is unique.

"It's a blend of indigenous, digital, and kitchen," said Gladstone, Founder of Indigikitchen. 

She's a member of Blackfeet Nation who works to promote native health using 'pre- contact' ingredients, items similar to the ones her ancestors used before 1492. Her mission is to combat diet related illnesses on reservations. 

"I was confronted with some of these statistics about diabetes, obesity, and malnutrition, and really wanted to push back against that," said Gladstone.

She partners with local agriculture producers to provide more access to healthy, affordable, and fresh food across many Montana communities and beyond.

"We recognize that there's been this multi-generational disconnect from our traditional food systems so as we work to restore access we also have to restore knowledge," said Gladstone. 

She demonstrates recipes from her family and friends through online private or group classes.

"Spending my summers on the reservation, recognizing this 'food desert concept, I'm just really trying to make things that Moms can make when they get home from work."

She explains how it's all about sustainability and creating reliable food networks in communities that are struggling.
"The mental and spiritual benefits that come along with eating the food of our ancestors, eating the food from our landscapes and being able to connect in the kitchen with our families or across this multi-generational space is important. Being able to feed ourselves, being able to grow our own foods and harvest those and preserve those and cook those into delicious meals that also nourish us physically is incredibly beneficial and creates this sense of community and overall wellness," Gladstone said.
Gladstone was featured on the TODAY show in January and is currently working on classes for the Smithsonian. 
She's currently taking on more family recipes, you can find her favorites or share your own here

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