Traditional Foods


Many Indigenous people have had spiritual and cultural relationships with water throughout history. Water is one of the four basic elements along with fire, air and earth. Many Tribes relate to water as a source of life. Water is the blood and life-stream of nature, a symbol of pureness. Water is a sacred element for physical and mental well-being. Some Tribes have water clans or bands connecting their ancestors to water and may feel responsible to protect water.

Choose Water First!

Water is life and sacred to Indigenous people around the world. Our ancestors drank water and we continue to drink water today.


Drink 8 to 12 cups of water every day. 1 cup is 8 ounces.

Drink water before, during and after activities.

Drinking water helps control your body temperature.

Fill up a water bottle at home and take it with you to the park, school, powwow and other activities.

Adapted from Jiménez, A., Cortobius, M., & Kjellén, M. (2014). Water, sanitation and hygiene and indigenous peoples: a review of the literature. Water International, 39(3), 277-293; Larned, S. M. (2018). Water Is Life: The Native American Tribal Role in Protecting Natural Resources. Earth Jurisprudence & Envtl. Just. J., 8, 52; LaPier, Rosalyn R. 2017. “Why is water sacred to Native Americans?” Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place & Community, no. 8., and

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