reclaiming Native American food: NPR

This comic, illustrated by Chelsea Saunders, is inspired by an interview with chef Sean Sherman of TED Radio Hour episode The food connection.

Panel 2:
Panel 3: "Throughout high school and college, I worked in many tourist restaurants.  After college I moved to Minneapolis and became a chef at a young age.  A few years into my career as a chef, I realized the complete absence of native foods.  I could name fewer than a handful of Lakota recipes that were truly Lakota."
Panel 4: "What happened?  Where was all the Native American food?"
Panel 5: "Traditionally, Indigenous education was the product of thousands of generations of knowledge and traditions passed down from family member to family member.  He gave people a blueprint on how to live sustainably using plants and animals from their area.
Panel 6: "My great-grandfather saw his children taken away to a boarding school, where they had their hair cut, they spoke English and practiced Christianity.  By the end of the 19th century, less than 2% of the original Lakota tribal lands were under Native control.
Panel 7:
Chef Sean Sherman, a member of the Ogalala Lakota Sioux Tribe, attempts to change the portrayal of American cuisine by serving dishes that celebrate and preserve Lakota cuisine.
Chef Sean Sherman, a member of the Ogalala Lakota Sioux Tribe, attempts to change the portrayal of American cuisine by serving dishes that celebrate and preserve Lakota cuisine.
Panel 9: "After years of studying, I started my business called Sioux Chef in 2014. My goal is to reintroduce native food to tribal communities and break the cycle of reliance on government food."
Panel 10:

About Sean Sherman

Chief Sean Sherman is the founder of “The Sioux Chief“, a company committed to the revitalization and recovery of Native American cuisine. He is a member of the Ogalala Lakota Sioux tribe. His main culinary focus has been to bring indigenous food systems like land stewardship and use of wild foods in a modern culinary context.

His restaurant Owamni in Minneapolis, MN offers dishes that favor foods of indigenous origin to its region and omit colonial ingredients like beef and chicken to create a “decolonized dining experience”. In 2017, he co-authored the cookbook The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen.

Through his non-profit organization, NATIVES, he also co-founded the Indigenous Food Lab, an Indigenous professional kitchen and training center dedicated to preserving Indigenous food education.

He received a First Peoples Fund Fellowship in 2015, the Bush Foundation Fellowship in 2018, the National Center’s First American Entrepreneurship Award in 2018, the James Beard Award in 2018 for best american cookbook and a 2019 James Beard Leadership Award.

This TED Radio Hour segment was produced by Rachel Faulkner and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and write to us at [email protected].

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