Danielle Antelope, a student at Montana State University (MSU), is a passionate student leader and advocate for indigenous food systems and food security at Montana State University, in our community and her home community of the Blackfeet Reservation. Through education and engaged dialogue facilitation, she promotes understanding of indigenous identity through food and cultural well-being. The skills and knowledge Danielle has developed through her work with food sustainability are an asset to the MSU campus. Her hope is to help tribes revitalize and preserve knowledge about her traditional food system while promoting healthy choices and overall nutrition.
Starting higher education at Blackfeet Community College allowed me to build a foundation to grow from. I was able to take western classes at the same time learning Blackfeet culture. This experience allowed me to find my identity as an indigenous mother as well as my passion for community wellness and cultural sustainability. When I transferred to Montana State University, I was focused on making an impact within my short time here. Within my first semester, I noticed the lack of representation of the indigenous student population on campus. In spring 2019, I ran for student senate and won a senator position. This is a leadership position that allows me to be the voice for not only indigenous students but all students. In fall 2019, I secured funding to provide healthy snacks in the American Indian Student Center. Students have told me that this food has been beneficial to their wellbeing. I strive to make positive impact for those who come after me. Being a mother empowers me to think of future generations in everything that I do. I was raised to be the change that I want to see and that is how I will raise my son too.