Published April 22, 2016
HOPKINS, MICHIGAN – Over 250 American Indians from 40 tribes from Indian Country and others are attending the Great Lakes Intertribal Summit at the Camp Jijak, owned by the Gun Lake Pottawatomi Tribe, in Hopkins, Michigan.
The food summit started yesterday and will run through Sunday, April 24.
Attendees have the opportunity to learn about the full food circle from planting traditional American Indian seeds to food preparation using some historic Native recipes in workshops conducted throughout the four-day food summit. CLICK HERE for workshop agenda.
In attendance are 14 American Indian chefs from various parts of Indian Country who came to share their culinary talents.
“Even in Native-owned restaurants, such as at Indian-operated casinos and resorts, Native recipes are not featured. Why not?” comments Kevin Finney, executive director of the Jijak Foundation, one of the food summit’s organizers and host. “Typically, menu items include powwow food, such as Indian tacos and fry bread—if it is sold at all.”
“So many Native recipes have been erased from history. This week we want to have Native recipes highlighted so people will learn to cook with them. There is a “buy local from farmers” movement now. Why not, “buy local Native?” asks Finney.
“When you think about the treaties that protected fishing and hunting rights for Native people, this food summit is about food sovereignty. Now we highlighting the recipes that were used and should be used today,” says Finney.
Attendees are provided meals prepared by the various chefs or different tribes.
On Thursday, the Onondaga Nation provided a lunch that featured roasted moose, Hubbard squash, walnut strawberry salad, wild onion soup and corn bread with kidney beans.
Fourteen adults and one youth traveled the 10 hours from the Onondaga Nation, outside of Syracuse, New York, to Camp Jijak, which is located halfway between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit is co-hosted by the Camp Jijak Foundation and the Intertribal Agriculture Council.
Native News Online/Tribal Business Journal photos by Levi Rickert.
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