Optional pre-conference workshops

Click here to sign up for a pre-conference workshop. Note: As these workshops all take place in the afternoon of October 2, please only register for one workshop.

“Native Infusion: Reclaiming Ancestral Beverages”

Valerie Segrest, MS (Muckleshoot), Traditional Foods and Medicines Program Manager, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Auburn, WA
1-4 p.m.
Mystic Lake Center
Cost: $75

For generations, our ancestors perfected and passed down techniques for hunting, fishing, harvesting, processing, preparing and storing foods and medicines so that we may eat and drink in a way that upholds our vitality. Yet every day we are inundated with advertisements that urge us to consume sodas, juices and energy drinks. Research shows that elevated consumption of these sugary beverages is directly connected with nutrition-related health conditions that plague tribal communities today including obesity, diabetes and tooth decay. Native Infusion aims to support our communities’ health efforts by building a strong agenda with a simple message: drink more ancestral beverages.

This workshop is for health practitioners and educators working with tribal populations who would like to gain hands-on, practical skills in creating healthy ancestral beverages from native plants. Participants will gain an understanding of the sugary beverage industry and its effects on the health as well as the nutritional benefits of ancestral beverages like clean water, decoctions, infused teas and waters, bone broth and berry porridges (smoothies). All attendees will have the chance to sample, blend, and gain access to toolkit materials.

Valerie Segrest is a Native nutrition educator who specializes in local and traditional foods. She serves her community as the coordinator of the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project. In 2010, she co-authored the book Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture. Click here to register for this workshop.

“Dream of Wild Health – Youth Garden Tour”

Ernie Whiteman, (Arapaho) Cultural Director, and Heather Drake, Farm Manager
1-3 p.m. (12-4 p.m. with transportation from Mystic Lake Center)
16085 Jeffrey Ave., Hugo, MN 55038
Cost: $50 per person

Dream of Wild Health is the steward for a collection of rare, Indigenous seeds that were a gift from Cora Baker, a Potawatomi elder and seed keeper. Cora believed, as do many elders, that the best way to recover the health of our Native communities is by returning to our traditional, Indigenous foods. At Dream of Wild Health, we are returning these seeds as food to our community by growing and sharing them, and providing education programs in hand pollination and seed preservation. We also believe that teaching our youth how to garden, cook and care for these seeds ensures this wisdom will be carried forward for seven generations.

Visit Dream of Wild Health’s 10-acre farm and learn how they have successfully blended youth programs with growing Indigenous foods for the urban Native community. The tour includes an overview of organic farm production, our a two-acre berry orchard, the importance of a pollinator meadow, and Indigenous seed growing and preservation. Learn from experienced staff how youth education programs improve community health by teaching gardening, cooking, language and culture. Dream of Wild Health is also a lead organizer for two food sovereignty networks: the Indigenous Food Systems Network and the Upper Midwest Indigenous Seed Keepers Network. Click here to register for this workshop.

“Preparing Healthy Traditional Food with the Sioux Chef”

Chef Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota), Founder, The Sioux Chef, Minneapolis, MN
2-4 p.m.
Mazopiya Market – 2571 Credit Union Drive, Prior Lake, MN 55372
Cost: $75 per person

Chef Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota), is internationally renowned in the Indigenous foods culinary movement. In this workshop, participants will learn how to prepare and incorporate Indigenous foods into their own diets. Chef Sean will discuss Native American food systems, including regional differences, farming practices, food preservation, usage of salt, wild game, foraging and identification of plants, cooking techniques, ingredient sourcing, and access to recipes. He will also discuss the foundations of an Indigenous diet, and applications in modern kitchens. The workshop will include a cooking demonstration with samples for participants.

Chef Sean’s main focus has been on the revitalization and evolution of Indigenous food systems throughout North America. In 2014, Chef Sean opened The Sioux Chef as a caterer and food educator in the Twin Cities. He and his business partner Dana Thompson also designed and opened the Tatanka Truck, which featured pre-contact foods of the Dakota and Minnesota territories. In October 2017, Sean and his team prepared the first decolonized dinner at the James Beard House in Manhattan. His first book, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, was chosen one of the top 10 cookbooks of 2017 by the LA Times as well as the Smithsonian Magazine, and is a James Beard nominated book for 2018. This year, Chef Sean was selected as a Bush Fellow. Click here to register for this workshop.

“Foraging for Native Edible Plants”

Hope Flanagan (Seneca), Wild Foods Educator, Dream of Wild Health, Minneapolis, MN
1-3 p.m.
Location: Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro area
Cost: $25 per person

Nutritious, wild plants live all around us. Indigenous wisdom encourages consumption of wild plants for their nutritious and spiritual properties. Plants are our teachers and elders, and should be thanked and appreciated for their gifts. Join elder Hope Flanagan to see the wild plants and how they live in this changing environment. In this experiential workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to see native wild edible plants, and if possible pick and taste them. Hope will describe the unique and diverse nutritional, medicinal and spiritual properties of various plants, how they are used in Indigenous cultures, and ways to interact with the plants. The application of this knowledge is not only for understanding Indigenous ways and wisdom, but also understanding the natural world and protecting the natural environment, which affects us all.

Come prepared for the weather, with warm clothes and good shoes that can get muddy. Also, be sure to bring insect repellent. This workshop will require the ability to walk for two hours through nature. In the event that the weather makes it impossible to walk outside, we will instead have a discussion at Mystic Lake Center. Click here to register for this workshop.

“Indigenous Wellness: Ancestral Food-Ways, Indigenizing Fitness & Movement, and the Interconnectedness of Wellness, Culture, and Indigenous Language”

Anthony Thosh Collins (O’odham/Haudenosaunee/Osage), Wellness Trainer, Well for Culture, Phoenix, AZ
12-4 p.m.
Location: Mystic Lake Center
Cost: $50 per person

Well For Culture is a grassroots movement focused on holistic wellness from an Indigenous perspective. It utilizes concepts from western academic knowledge, ancestral Indigenous teachings, eastern medicine, and other schools of thought to promote and encourage healthy lifestyles for Indigenous communities and others who might benefit from an integrative, “Indigenized” approach. Well for Culture encourages a balanced, integrative approach: movement, food, mental wellness, and spiritual wellness are equally important, and each area will impact the others.

This dynamic, interactive workshop will be filled with original visual elements and discussion as well as movement breaks and stress-relief techniques. Core principles of this positive, optimistic, and solutions-based workshop are self-empowerment and critical thinking. Participants will explore the revitalization of Indigenous foods and ways to incorporate them into everyday diets, and experience healing movement that is accessible to all people and can be used in a variety of settings. Topics covered include an overview of ancestral foods, regional Indigenous cuisine, gut health and the microbiome, creative ideas for recipes and snacks utilizing Indigenous foods, reestablishing a spiritual connection to food through cooking and gardening, tribal food sovereignty, wellness medicine wheel, movement as medicine, and Indigenous baby food. Click here to register for this workshop.