Lauren Bickford


Hello! My name is Lauren Bickford, and my Potawatomi name is Waskonekwe. Growing up I lived in a very middle class very white area in the Midwest. Diversity was truly not present in my early years. I completed my DPD/MS/DI combined program at Boston University. During my internship at Boston Medical Center I had the opportunity to complete my community rotation at South Boston Community Health Center. The dietetics textbooks could not teach me anything close to what I was learning from the patients I was supporting. I found cultural knowledge was the most important factor in being a supportive member of their team. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned so much about my own culture and Native American ancestors, including my grandmother, pictured with me above. Of all the things I did while visiting my grandma, picking tomatoes from the garden was always at the top of the list. Gardening is now something I’ve started to really enjoy as an adult and I’ve learned about the importance of gardening for my Native ancestors. Corn, squash, and beans are known as The Three Sisters. Grown together, these plants help each other thrive. Turns out, their nutrition profiles compliment each other too. This ancient nutrition knowledge is seen so often in Native history. Yet only 0.3% of Registered Dietitians are Native American. I’ve loved volunteering with @diversifydietics – an organization committed to changing the stats of the dietetics field. So let’s learn from the ancestral nutrition wisdom of tribe, stop white-washing community nutrition programs, and make some space for the next generation of Native Dietitians.

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