The Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, is organizing the food tasting thanks to the Wokini Initiative of SDSU. Photo courtesy Sean Sherman

Native Sun News Today: Lakota Food Summit to debut

RAPID CITY – An impressive lineup of presenters is slated for the first annual Lakota Food Summit taking place February 18th-20th at Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza. The event is open to the public and is organized by the Lakota Food Sovereignty Coalition with support from co-sponsor Partnership With Native Americans and several other organizations.

A Lakota Food Summit was brainstormed during the monthly meetings of the Lakota Food Sovereignty Coalition on the Pine Ridge Reservation several years ago and is finally coming to fruition. The Lakota Food Sovereignty Council was created by the Thunder Valley CDC and the summit has been organized by Dianne Amiotte-Seidel who is the Thunder Valley Food Sovereignty Coordinator.

This summit has speakers focusing on the topic of food sovereignty through various lenses such as traditional foods, business management, gardening, and much more. A description on the Summit’s website states “we could not be more excited to have the opportunity to show everyone what food sovereignty means to the Lakota Oyate”

The 1st Annual Lakota Food Summit is quickly approaching! Make sure you don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to...

Posted by Lakota Food Sovereignty Coalition on Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The first day of the Summit, February 18th, is completely free of charge to attend and includes traditional singing and hoop dancing, hands on learning of hand games and star knowledge, and a food tasting from a dozen chefs preparing decolonized dishes with traditional ingredients. All of the featured chefs are from nearby reservations to Rapid City and will be showcasing healthy indigenous foods and flavors while cutting out colonial ingredients.

Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, is organizing the food tasting thanks to the Wokini Initiative of SDSU. Sherman said “The goal here is to understand the ancestral pantry and to evolve the food. We lost a lot of our food knowledge with a history of harsh treatments to tribal communities. And through exploring true flavors of our region we can regain that knowledge while we keep true to the ingredients."

As the CEO and founder of Minneapolis based company The Sioux Chef, Sean has received multiple prestigious awards including the 2018 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook. He will also be giving a presentation and will be available for book signing.

The second and third day of the Summit require a registration fee of $150 for both days. There are discounted prices for seniors, students, and vendors. Registration can be completed on Eventbrite or at the door.

Kelsey Ducheneaux, a keynote speaker from the Intertribal Agriculture Council, is also organizing a poster gathering and leadership event to involve Lakota youth in South Dakota. Ducheneaux described the youth event by saying it “aims to engage our youngest generations of community leaders in an intertribal event. Designed to uplift youth as leaders, this event will present high school students with unique skills and an invaluable network that can inspire food sovereignty within their communities across South Dakota” and that “The Intertribal Ag Council is hopeful that this event will inspire communities to pull tribal leadership attention to the need of promoting regenerative agriculture and food systems throughout Indian Country."

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