Native American restaurant serves Thanksgiving meal at Bishop Dudley House

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – For many Native Americans in South Dakota, Thanksgiving is not a time to celebrate, given the history of hostilities between the United States and Indigenous peoples. Yet the spirit of thanksgiving is on the menu of a Native American restaurant in Sioux Falls. Guests of Bishop Dudley Hospitality House will benefit from the generosity offered by the Watecha Bowl.

The Watecha Bowl goes from preparing its traditional Native American cuisine to a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

“We make turkey, honey cooked ham, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy,” said Lawrence West, owner of the Watecha Bowl.

The Watecha Bowl closed for the day so workers and volunteers can prepare meals for guests at Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.

“I love to volunteer in the community and I haven’t been able to do it in the last year and a half, with COVID, and it was an opportunity that presented itself and it seemed like something good to do “, mentioned volunteer Tabitha Schochenmaier.

“It’s a good time. It’s bringing our employees together, it’s bringing volunteers together, it’s all while having fun. Everything is done with love, ”said Sophie West.

Meals will be served in the newly remodeled kitchen at Bishop Dudley House, complete with stainless steel appliances and cooking utensils.

“We’re really excited to have the Watecha Bowl and Lawrence and his whole team here, it’s going to be a great day and I think our guests are going to be so excited and they’re going to love it and who doesn’t love it Thanksgiving dinner, ”said Madeline Shields, executive director of Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.

Watecha Bowl staff and volunteers plan to cook around 200 Thanksgiving meals. And really, the process isn’t that different from an ordinary business day here at the restaurant.

“It’s clear, it’s a lot less flour! But no, these are just plain fun seasonings, break the everyday fried bread craze, ”said Lawrence West.

But for the West, Thanksgiving is not a holiday they mark on their calendar.

“We don’t necessarily recognize Thanksgiving in the traditional sense, or what it should be celebrated for. It’s not really politics behind it. But at the end of the day, it’s like I’d rather go and spend it with my people being grateful for what we really have, ”West said.

For Native Americans like West, Thanksgiving is not a holiday to be observed, but rather a day to be served.

Bishop Dudley Hospitality House expects between 100 and 130 guests for Thanksgiving lunch Thursday.

The organization is always looking for volunteers to help prepare and serve meals. If you are interested in volunteering, click here

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