North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS), founded by James Beard award winners The Sioux Chef, is dedicated to addressing the economic and health crises affecting Native communities by re-establishing Native foodways. We imagine a new North American food system that generates wealth and improves health in Native communities through food-related enterprises.
NATIFS has opened the Indigenous Food Lab in the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis! Covid has altered our plans somewhat: a full-service training restaurant has been put on hold, and we've turned our attention to producing hundreds of culturally appropriate, healthy frozen entrees featuring Indigenous ingredients per day. These meals are being distributed to tribal elders and families as well as other community members in need. We've also hired our Indigenous Education staff, who have begun curriculum planning, fast-tracking video and on-line options until we're able to safely gather together.
These are strange times, but we've never been more clear about our vision for a healthy, Indigenous food system. Your help today will assist an immediate hunger need, and will also support our curriculum design and implementation. We are revamping our professional Indigenous kitchen to include a demonstration kitchen and recording studio, and we've started meeting with tribal groups to talk about how we can help Indigenize their culinary programs.
Check out Chef Sean Sherman talking about the vision of the Indigenous Food Lab.
Reclaiming connection to tradition is a critical part of reversing the damage of colonialism and forced assimilation, and food is at the heart of this reclamation. NATIFS will drive sustainable economic empowerment and prosperity into tribal areas through a reimagined North American food system that also addresses the health impacts of injustice.
With your help, we can be the answer to our ancestors’ prayers.
Pilamayé + Mii-gwetch!