About Jody Gzhadawsot
Gzhadawsot ndeznikas. Bodewadmi, Ojibwe, epe Ottawa ndaw, Maang ndodem.
My name is Helps Children. I am enrolled Potawatomi Citizen Band, Loon Clan. Ojibwe and Ottawa descendant.
I've loved cooking for others for as long as I can remember. I paid close attention to my Bodewadmi mother and grandfather when they prepared dishes and I've expanded on that throughout my lifetime. I really started to write down my recipes, upon request from my children, and I realized that others enjoyed my cooking as well.
After some years of high blood pressure, stomach illness, and a growing risk to become diabetic I decided to make a drastic change in mine and my families eating habits. I filled our pantry with Indigenous foods and started cooking with only Indigenous ingredients. That meant throwing out all wheat, gluten, and dairy ingredients. No more frybread or Bannock.
Right away the stomach illnesses resolved for myself and my children. Now I'm happy to say that I am no longer hypertensive, and I am out of risk from diabetes. Upon more research I've found that Indigenous people simply, for the most part, cannot digest -or may even have full allergies to- wheat, gluten, dairy, and of course alcohol. Knowing this lead me on a road to really decolonize our foods and what we nourish our bodies with.
I believe strongly that there's a deep connection to our bodies, what we nourish ourselves with, our homelands, our language, our culture, our communities, and our relationship with Mother Earth. Simplified, food sovereignty brings us all together.
There's something about preparing a meal for others, sustenance for body and spirit, that brings me joy and purpose.
In 2021 I realized that social media was a great way to bring the community together in the form of Indigenous, self-sustaining foods. It's not just the food that makes this important to me, it's the nourishment, food sovereignty, and most of all, community.
In 2021 I became a Lifeways Consultant for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi and continue working alongside them today.