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News Release

American Indian Community Housing Organization

In a community wide effort to increase knowledge and resources, access to, and reclaim cultural food sovereignty practices, the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) will host a fun and educational community-wide festival focused on Indigenous food, food practices, Indigenous economy, culture and healthy activities.

Indigenous Foods Expo will happen on Saturday, September 21, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Niiwin Indigenous Foods Foods Market and Central Hillside Park in Duluth. This event is free and open to the public. This is an opportunity to share our Minnesota and local Indigenous history, knowledge, cultural food practices, Indigenous foods, and network and connect with Indigenous food producers, healthy foods, and with each other. A fun, creative, and educational experience will be had by folks of all ages and backgrounds. The Indigenous Foods Expo will bring an increased awareness and lived experiences, and connections to our Duluth and surrounding communities about Indigenous foods.

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Local Culinary Indigebotanist Tashia Hart, of the Red Lake Nation, shared her definition of Indigenous Foods. “When we talk about Indigenous Foods, we’re ultimately talking about relationship. We are talking about the foods that have historically nurtured and shaped our bodies, our cultures, and our traditions as Indigenous peoples of this land base we know as Turtle Island from our Anishinaabeg Creation stories. Other tribes have different names for this land base. The history of each of our Indigenous Foods is also tied to this land, and to us. Our histories are a shared one. This is what makes people, plants, and animals Indigenous to a place — a historical ‘upbringing’ if you will, in a shared space on our Maamaa Aki, Mother Earth.”

Highlights will include:

  • Indigenous food producers and entrepreneur vendors, as well as Indigenous chefs and food demonstrations with presentations by Sean Sherman, CEO/Founder of the company The Sioux Chef and Brian Yazzie, Founder of the Intertribal Foodways.
  • Cultural and Indigenous (hands-on) food processing and educational demonstrations such as seed saving, edible medicinals, wild rice post-harvest process, Indigenous teas, and more.
  • Cultural activities such as corn silk doll making and traditional lacrosse stick making.
  • Live music performances by national Native American Music Award Winner Annie Humphrey, local band #theindianheadband, hip-hop artist Wahwahtay Benais, and Jake Vainio will take the stage.
  • Cultural arts activities for the whole family and NSRGNTS (painters of American Indian Community Housing Organization’s Water Protector Mural) will do a live painting.
  • Healthy family activities including a 3-on-3 basketball tournament (medals will be given out) and yard games.

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This event is supported by funding from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) through the Minnesota Department of Health, the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Notah Begay III Foundation and Northwest Area Foundation.