The Decolonizing Diet Project (DDP) was a pilot study of the relationship between humans and Indigenous foods of the Great Lakes Region. Dr. Martin Reinhardt, associate professor of Native American Studies served as the principal investigator and a research subject for the DDP.

The planning phase of the project ran from 2010 to 2012. The implementation phase ran from March 25, 2012 to March 24, 2013. The analysis and reporting phase was from March 25, 2013 to Summer of 2014.

Dr. Reinhardt authored a chapter in the following publication about the outcomes of the DDP:

Reinhardt, M. (2015). “Spirit food: A multidimensional overview of the Decolonizing Diet Project”. Indigenous Innovation: Universalities and Peculiarities, eds., E. Sumida Huaman and B. Sriraman. Rotterdam: Sense.

Reinhardt co-authored a DDP Cookbook with fellow research subjects Leora Lancaster and April Lindala:

Reinhardt, M., Lancaster, L., and Lindala, A. (2016). Decolonizing Diet Project Cookbook. Featuring Indigenous food recipes from the Great Lakes Region. Marquette, MI: Northern Michigan University, Center for Native American Studies. Reinhardt is currently working on another chapter for an upcoming publication which will feature his and his wife's (Tina Moses) reflections about the DDP.

A DDP Three Year Follow-Up Study was recently conducted by K. Nim Reinhardt, a senior nursing student and Indian Health Services Scholar/McNair Scholar at NMU (and yes, she is Dr. Reinhardt's older daughter too). Findings from this study may be submitted for publication soon also.

The DDP continues to influence many other projects and has a wide following on Facebook and in communities around the world. Dr. Reinhardt continues to present on the project and will be looking at future projects related to the outcomes of the DDP.

We would like to thank all of those who have assisted with the DDP over the years and would be more than happy to answer any questions about the DDP via email at:

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Intertribal Timber Council Symposium Presentation

Here is a shout out to the folks attending the Intertribal Timber Council Symposium! I am happy to be presenting about the DDP for them today. I hope they find it helpful as they pursue their own Indigenous food projects.

Monday, April 7, 2014

DDP Earth Day Pot Luck and Drum Social

Attention DDPers! Please join us for a DDP Earth Day Pot Luck and Drum Social at Moosewood Nature Center on Presque Isle on April 22, 2014. This is also Marty's birthday and he wants to hang out with family and friends. We will plan to eat between 6:30-7pm and then walk to sunset point to catch the sunset! Marty will bring a whole roasted DDP turkey, and baked sweet potato chunks, as well as sweet water.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Australia Connection

I had a great encounter with some folks from the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative in North Geelong, Victoria in Australia last evening. I presented on the DDP and they told me about their plans to do something similar in their part of the world. It looks like they may begin their project next November 1st as we start the Week of Eating Indigenous Foods.

United Nations News Article

I was excited to see that the United Nations included information about the DDP in a recent report. You can view an article at the following website:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Crab Apple Sauce and Vinegar Cooking Demonstration

The DDP in partnership with Culinary Arts will be hosting a Crab Apple Sauce and Vinegar Cooking Demonstration on October 12, 2013 from 1-4pm at the Jacobetti Building on campus at NMU. Registration is limited to the first 25 RSVPs. Please call 906-227-1397 or email: Dr. Martin Reinhardt at or Alice Snively at Please note that replying on  Facebook is not an RSVP. Every participant will leave with some applesauce and vinegar.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

DDP will be on Native America Calling Today


Date: 6/13/13

Time: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Mountain Time (10 - 11 a.m. Pacific Time/ 12 -1 p.m. Central Time/ 1-2 p.m. Eastern Time)

Title:  The Pre-Contact Diet

Host: Tara Gatewood

Program Description
Thursday, June 13, 2013 – The Pre-Contact Diet
The Paleo Diet is the newest health trend buzzing around the country. Followers of the diet only eat foods that come from hunter-gather ancestors including high protein, fruits and veggies. Returning to traditional diets is not a new idea, many Native organizations also promote a return to traditional diets. How realistic is it to eat a diet of only foods that our ancestors ate? Communities across Indian country are dealing with health issues related to obesity. Is a diet focused on traditional foods the answer? Guests include: Dr. Martin Reinhardt (Anishinaabe Ojibway) principal investigator for the Decolonizing Diet Project.

Cattail Foraging Saturday, June 15th, 2013

We will be meeting at the old McDonald Elementary School on the former KI Sawyer Air Force Base in Gwinn to go foraging for cattails at 9am saturday, June 15, 2013. If you are unable to make it at 9am, you can join us out in the field. We will be foraging off of M-35 south toward Escanaba just north of Mcfarland near the railroad tracks. You should plan on wearing rubber boots or waders and old clothes. Bring a knife, snacks, and a dish to pass for lunch if you are able. Marty will provide buckets and will make some pumpkin/corn bread and sweet water to share with everyone. We may eat in the field or head back to the school for lunch depending on how we feel by that time.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

End of the Year Celebration

The time has come to announce that the end of the DDP implementation phase is coming soon. On March 24, 2013 we will celebrate our 1 year DDP aniversary! It hardly seems possible. We, the staff of the DDP, would like to invite all of the research subjects and 1 guest each to attend the celebration which will be held in the Whitman Commons just down the hall from the Center for Native American Studies. The celebration will begin at 1pm and run until 4pm. The best part is we are doing the cooking for you! All we ask is that you RSVP by calling the Center at (906) 227-1397 and let us know if you are coming and who your guest will be.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Indigenous Foods Cook-Off at NMU

MARQUETTE, Mich.—An Indigenous Foods Cook-Off will be held on Saturday, March 16, at Northern Michigan University’s Jacobetti Complex. Teams will prepare an entrĂ©e, side dish and dessert from a mystery basket of Indigenous food ingredients. The event is hosted by the NMU Center for Native American Studies and the hospitality management program. Participants in the Decolonizing Diet Project—a year-long study of the relationship between humans and foods of the Great Lakes Region—will team up with staff, students and community members for the competition.
Food preparation will begin at 1 p.m. in the Jacobetti Complex kitchen. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. in Chez Nous restaurant. Guest judges will include chefs Mark Bzdok and Chris Kibit, along with retired NMU professor Mohey Mowafy. The judging criteria will include points for taste, presentation and creativity. Prizes will be awarded in two categories: audience choice and judges’ choice.
Limited audience seating is available for dinner on a first come, first serve basis by calling 906-227-1397. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance at the Center for Native American Studies in Whitman Hall. Audience members should arrive by 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Martin Reinhardt at or call (906) 227-1397.