Native foods making their return to the table

Through the efforts of Native farmers, entrepreneurs and cooks, traditional Native foods are beginning to make a return to the table.

Noland Johnson, a farmer on the Tohono O'odham Reservation in Arizona, is partly motivated by health concerns. His began growing tepary beans as a tribute to his grandfather, who died from complications related to diabetes.

Loretta Barrett Oden, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma, has been promoting Native foods for years as a prominent chef. She has been traveling Indian Country to film a 2006 PBS series called "Seasoned With Spirit: A Native Cook's Journey."

Larry Pourier and Mark Tilsen, from the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, are developing a line of Native natural food products through their company, Lakota Express. Pourier's first product is a snack bar based on an old Lakota recipe for wasna, a patty of kidney fat and meat of bison mashed with chokecherries.

Ed. Note: Ho-Chunk Inc., the economic development corporation for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, has invested in Lakota Express. Ho-Chunk Inc. also owns Indianz.Com.

Get the Story:
Native Foods Nourish Again (The New York Times 11/23)

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