The Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit was about food sovereignty, the sharing of traditional skills, and incredible feasting. The event was hosted at Camp Jijak, the pow wow grounds of the Gun Lake Potawatomi near Hopkins, Michigan. Some 15 indigenous chefs traveled from all over Turtle Island to prepare the many meals enjoyed by the attendees. All of those meals were prepared using pre-colonial indigenous ingredients like foraged wild edibles and game like muskrat, beaver, moose, deer and bison.
These two videos from the summit show some of those foods and the indigenous ingredients used. In the first video, Brian Yazzie, (Diné) chef de cuisine from The Sioux Chef, talks about what kinds of foods were on the grill, things like wild rice broth and bison chili. The chef also had folks doing some foraging for indigenous ingredients to be used as garnishes and to go into some of the dishes.
He also talks about his chef sample plate (pictured above) in the video.
In the next video from Camp Jijak, Maizie White walks us through what types of foods were served for lunch as she piled up her own delicious-looking plate. Some of the foraged indigenous ingredients Chef Yazzie talked about can even be seen on the first dish, a colorful quinoa and nopale salad. Next comes some white beans, and some braised venison and potatoes in a chili sauce. The next potato dish included green beans in a salsa verde sauce, and at the end of the line were warm blue corn tortillas from a local Mexican market.
Food may have been at the center, like Rowen White [Maizie’s mother] pointed out in her account of the summit, but it was also about cross-cultural sharing and a communally integrated expression of indigenous resistance.
Much of the summit is still available to watch online.