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News Release

Smithsonian - National Museum of the American Indian

Corn, Beans, and Squash: What the Three Sisters Tell Us

When: Thursday, July 2, 2020, 12–12:45 p.m. ET

Where: Streaming online

Accessibility: ASL interpretation, real-time captioning available

Corn, beans, and squash, commonly known as “the Three Sisters,” have been important companion crops in Indigenous communities in the Americas for centuries. This combination not only holds traditional wisdom and folklore but has also been proven to be scientifically and environmentally symbiotic.

As part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival "Beyond the Mall" digital programming, join the conversation between Smithsonian Gardens horticulturist Christine Price-Abelow and Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian staff: Mitsitam Cafe chef Freddie Bitsoie (Navajo), student and teachers coordinator Renee Gokey (Eastern Shawnee), and cultural interpreter program coordinator Mandy Van Heuvelen (Mnicoujou Lakota), who will lead a discussion about the Three Sisters, traditional Indigenous agriculture, and food sovereignty. 

This program will include step-by-step instructions on preparing a delicious dish incorporating the Three Sisters. Growing and using these healthy ingredients is now more important than ever for everyone.


Real-Time Captioning and ASL Interpretation will be provided for this program via separate online platforms. To access, please follow the links below. NOTE: At this time, these links will only show the accessibility service being provided. We recommend that they be opened in a separate browser window (or on a separate device) alongside the event broadcast in order to view the program simultaneously.

Real-time captions:

ASL Iinterpretation:


This event is part of the Smithsonian Earth Optimism initiative, highlighting success stories in conservation and sustainability. Learn more:

Watch the program live on the Smithsonian Folklife Facebook or YouTube page (

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