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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Friday, November 18, 2011

Master Food List Posted at DDP Group Site

We are happy to announce that the master food list for the DDP has been posted at the group site. This is a work in progress, so please be patient with us as we fine tune it and update it every so often. We welcome your feedback. Please send comments or suggestions to  We are also excited about our first informational gatherting today, and the addition of two new members of the DDP crew--Mallory Huizenga and Dorothy Feltner! Mallory is a freshman fellow, and Dorothy is a student volunteer who will be working with us to research and develop an Indigenous Garden on campus at NMU. By the way, I got another deer earlier this week!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DDP Group Site is Up and Running!

I am pleased to announce that the DDP group site is now available for use by DDP staff, research subjects, and the general public. On the site you will be able to download files, hold live textbased chats, participate in discussion forums, and catch up on DDP news and updates. We will be posting the DDP eligible foods list to the group site soon. If you are not an NMU student, staff, or faculty member, you should use the guest login option. A link to the group site is below and also included in the DDP links on this site.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Salt and Other Updates

It was a very busy week last week. I finished up with my Week of Eating Indigenous Foods challenge. I stopped after lunch on Day 6 so I could eat the foods at our 11th Annual First Nations Food Taster which presents a mix of traditional and contemporary foods. I have now found enough evidence to convince me that salt was part of our pre-colonial diet, and is accessible through salt springs in Lower Michigan or near surface salt deposits in other areas. I had a really interesting conversation with Lori Roman, the president of the Salt Institute about the importance of sodium in our diets. I made leak salt by drying the white parts of several leeks and then grinding them. We also dried some cranberries which I will save for snacks at the beginning of the DDP. I ordered 100 pounds of bison hearts, livers, kidneys and tongues. This should be some interesting eating! Tina and I have also started experimenting with making wild rice sour dough bread using natural yeast. We are into day 3 of our mix with that, and it is starting to smell like yeast, so we are excited and hopeful! We will have a DDP group site up and running soon. I will announce it as soon as it is ready for the public. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

4th Day of Week of Eating Indigenous Foods

I am well into my 4th day of the Week of Eating Indigenous foods today. It has been a good learning experience thus far. I am really glad that Devon Mihesua proposed that we do this. Some of the lessons I have learned thus far include:

* Have more than three indigenous spices available for cooking (I need a greater variety of tastes).
* Be careful when cooking non-indigenous foods for other folks that you don't lick your fingers or sample the food (I caught myself almost doing this three times).
* Black walnuts are much more potent than English walnuts (it don't take much to add flavor, I suggest grinding them and using like a spice).
* If you freeze wild-rice milk it changes the consistency when it thaws to something that resembles baby food (it tastes really good though, and will make a nice breakfast food or soup starter).
* Use non-stick pans if possible so the food don't stick to the surface (the meats are lean, and I have not found an oil that is acceptable for the DDP yet).

To see postings about the Week of Eating Indigenous Foods visit the following website:

The photos attached to this posting are from this week.