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The 'Sioux Chef' works to return indigenous food to the forefront of the American diet
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One of the greatest examples of how culture in the United States is shaped by colonization is the fact that Native American foods feel "ironically foreign" to most people who live on what was originally indigenous land.

This observation was made by Sean Sherman, aka "The Sioux Chef," an Oglala Lakota chef who was raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Sherman grew up in one of America's poorest communities and when he was 13, got a job washing dishes at a local steakhouse.

This experience in restaurants created a lifelong affinity for cooking that he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to pursue.


After mastering French and Japanese cuisines he had an epiphany: "Just all of a sudden, I realized that there was no Native foods. I just realized the other absence of indigenous perspective anywhere in the culinary world, nothing that represented the land we were actually standing on," he told PBS Newshour.

Even though he was born on a reservation, traditional Native American foods weren't an important part of his diet growing up. He was raised on processed foods and government supplemental fare which he attributes as one of the leading causes of health issues such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes that many Native Americans face.

Sherman set out to better understand indigenous cooking by researching food systems and learning from elders, historians, and ethnobotanists.

"What were my Lakota ancestors eating and storing away? How were they getting oils and salts and fats and sugars and things like that?" he asked himself. "So it took me quite a few years of just researching, but it really became a passion."

He eventually compiled his research into a book, "The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen" which won the coveted 2018 James Beard Award for best American cookbook.

Sherman along with his partner in life and business, Dana Thompson, continued their mission to reclaim Native American food by offering catering through The Sioux Chef and the Tatanka Truck.

They also created the Indigenous Food Lab, a nonprofit that works to increase access to Native American foods.

"For Indigenous people who went through intense assimilation, we lost a lot of our food culture," Sherman told Food and Wine. "But we're at a point now where we can reclaim it and evolve it for the next generation. To be able to share culture through food will be really healing."

This summer, Sherman opened his first brick-and-mortar restaurant, Owamni, situated in downtown Minneapolis in an area that Native Americans have known as Spirit Island. The restaurant features indigenous dishes that are free from colonial ingredients such as wheat flour, sugar, pork and chicken.

Instead, diners feast on a decolonized menu featuring wild rice, nixtamalized corn from Mexico, bison, lake fish, dandelion, blueberries and corn ash.

Sherman is making his mark on Minnesota, but his work is spreading across the globe through Facebook and Instagram which he uses for activism and to share Native American history.

Sherman used Facebook to fight back against an incorrect Fox News report that called for a massive bison cull at Grand Canyon National Park.

He started a fundraiser that earned over $10,000 to help distribute Indigenous Home Meal Kits directly to families in need around the Minneapolis/St Paul area.



On Instagram, he stood with Standing Rock.



He also shared a powerful picture of his great grandfather who fought at Little Big Horn.



The Sioux Chef's work online and in the kitchen are all part of the same goal, to return Native American food and culture to the forefront of American society.

"The bigger goal is to eventually grow the Indigenous Food Lab so we can help train, educate, and support Indigenous kitchens all over the United States," Sherman said.

"We believe that there should be Indigenous restaurants everywhere because no matter where, we're on Indigenous land," Sherman says. Owamni will "help showcase further how Indigenous food fits into the American scene," he says. "You can't tell the story of American food while dismissing the Indigenous history of it all."

Why not celebrate Indigenous People's Day by cooking one of The Sioux Chef's delicious recipes? Here's how to make braised bison and root vegetables.

How To Make Cedar Braised Bison | Chef Sean Sherman | The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchenwww.youtube.com

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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Justice doesn't just explain why the flag is seen as a symbol of racism. He also explains the history of when the flag originated and why flying a Confederate flag makes no sense for people who claim to be loyal Americans.

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via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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