USDA Indigenous Food Sovereignty Project

NĀTIFS Receives USDA Funding for Indigenous Food Sovereignty Project

NĀTIFS to provide cooking videos of healthy recipes that combine USDA commodity foods with locally foragable Indigenous ingredients

Minneapolis, MN, Nov. 15, 2021: North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NĀTIFS) announces its participation in a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative. This initiative supports the restoration of traditional Indigenous foodways, empowers Indigenous agricultural economies, and seeks to improve Indigenous health through Indigenous nutrition. The initiative is the latest in a series of bold, historic USDA actions to build equitable systems and programming. 

“We are honored to participate in this exciting initiative and see this as a positive step toward increasing food security and food sovereignty in tribal communities,” said Dana Thompson, Co-Founder & Executive Director of NĀTIFS. 

“We are so excited for this opportunity to create and share healthier recipe ideas for commodity food recipients featuring regional and traditional Indigenous wild and domesticated ingredients!” said Sean Sherman, Co-Founder & Indigenous Culinary Director of NĀTIFS. 

NĀTIFS will develop healthy recipes that combine traditional Indigenous foragable foods with foods provided to tribal communities through the Food Distribution on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) federal emergency food program. The recipes produced by NĀTIFS will be shared with FDPIR recipients via cooking videos that demonstrate how to combine indigenous & locally foragable foods with items from the FDPIR food package to make healthier meals. Through this new partnership with USDA, NĀTIFS aims to spread awareness of how to use Indigenous foods and to help address the serious issues of malnutrition, food-related illness, and economic impoverishment on tribal lands.

NĀTIFS will partner with Indigenous chef Crystal Wahpepah of Oakland, CA, owner of the newly opened Wahpepah’s Kitchen restaurant, to provide recipes and videos featuring wild and foraged ingredients from the West and Southwest United States. 

About NĀTIFS (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems): North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NĀTIFS), a nonprofit organization 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.


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