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Indian Country Today

Every culture seems to have food at the center of gatherings and a new Indigenous restaurant has a menu that’s entirely decolonized.

Owamni by the Sioux Chef opened on July 19 and prides itself on providing true North American cuisine.

The restaurant is in downtown Minneapolis on the banks of Haha Wakpa, also known as the Mississippi River.

“As you might know it's a wonderful, beautiful, sacred space, and we're just excited to have a restaurant that's extremely unique and kind of the only one out there like it,” said Sean Sherman, also known as the Sioux Chef.

It’s Sherman’s dream come true - a restaurant that features Indigenous foods in the homelands of the Dakota.

The menu features entrees like a Native grain bowl with bison, tepary beans, wild rice, quinoa, pesto, seasonal vegetables and a seed mix.

Sherman, Oglala Sioux, has hired almost 70 staff to run the restaurant, which is operating with a mask mandate in place.

Sean Sherman, the Sioux Chef, plates dessert at an exhibition in Fargo, North Dakota. Sherman wants to offer insects on the menu of a new restaurant he is planning to open in Minneapolis.  (Photo courtesy of the Sioux Chef)

“Luckily, we kind of already had kind of spaced ourselves out and didn't pack the restaurant as tight as we could have. And we also have this wonderful patio for people to spread outside,” Sherman said.

The Owamni team has Indigenous representation from Anishinaabe, Mdewakanton Dakota, Navajo, Northern Cheyenne, Oglala Lakota, Wahpeton-Sisseton Dakota and continues to grow.

Owamni features a salad with crunchy fried crickets, instead of croutons.

“It's surprising how many people will eat them without saying anything because it's not normal yet. You know, but very few people who order that salad ask for it without the crickets,” Sherman said.

The restaurant also has a version of their website written in Dakota

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