Cooking Native American Style

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11966

Do you like fast food? What about slow food, where you have to find the ingredients and cook without timers, microwaves, and stoves? Sample some Native American cuisine and learn about their heritage!


United States, World Cultures

learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


In many contemporary American cities, you can find restaurants for countless different kinds of food – Asian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, and so many others. You will rarely find a Native-American restaurant, though.

  • What do you think traditional Native-American cooking is like?

Immigrants have been part of the fabric of American life for centuries.

They have brought with them interesting cuisine from every corner of the globe. Foods like pizza, sushi, and General Tso's chicken have become as American as hamburgers and apple pie, yet the food that has been here for centuries is almost completely unknown to most Americans.

Let's learn more about Native-American food, the ingredients used to make it, and the people who are trying to promote it in today's society. Read an article about Native-American food. As you read, write down notes to answer the following questions:

  • Why is it hard to define Native-American food ?
  • What are some of the challenges Native-American restaurant owners face?
  • What kinds of foods and ingredients does the article mention?

Now read the article, "Why Isn't Native American Food Hip?," by Emily Deruy, courtesy of The Atlantic Monthly Group. Answer the questions above. Then, share your answers with your parent or teacher, and discuss the following questions:

  • What aspects of Native-American food could be attractive to contemporary consumers?
  • What role does food play in preserving people's culture and traditions?
  • What is incorrect or imprecise about using the term Native-American food ?

Every cuisine has its own special dishes and common ingredients.

In the Got It? section, select a Native-American region and compile some recipes that represent their most-beloved dishes.

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