Sticky Notes - We Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples’ Day
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We Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 5, 2022 by Emily Moore

National Indigenous Peoples’ Day - October 10th 2022

  • One finger cannot lift a pebble. – Hopi
  • Our first teacher is our own heart. – Cheyenne
  • Before eating, always take time to thank the food. – Arapaho

Indigenous Peoples' Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October (this year, 2022, it falls on the 10th). It’s a day to acknowledge the atrocities and injustices committed against our country’s original inhabitants, as well as to honor their cultures, traditions, and contributions; among these – of course – is food. 

Traditional Native American cuisine is exceptionally diverse, partly due to geographic differences. Indigenous people prepared and cooked meals composed mainly of plants, meats, and fish, and shellfish that were locally available to them. Therefore, the Anasazi (Southwest) diet included corn, pine nuts, and rabbit, whereas the Wampanoags (Northeast) cuisine involved berries, cod, and lobster, among others. Over thousands of years, each tribal nation cultivated unique traditions supporting its members’ physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. 

This all changed in the 1800s, when European settlers and U.S. policy began a large-scale displacement of the indigenous people, disrupting traditional Native American foodways with devastating consequences. Today, Native American tribes are working to restore food sovereignty, choosing for themselves the foods they will cultivate and consume, often returning to traditional foods and food practices. 

In preparation for Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year, I’m consulting two cookbooks for new takes on Native traditions:

I plan to make dishes using sage, piñons, and blue cornmeal (all native to Colorado!), and learn the history and culture behind each one. I’ll source ingredients from Tocabe Indigenous Marketplace, where every purchase supports local and indigenous farmers across the U.S. (Plus, for every two items purchased, Tocabe donates one item to Native and Indigenous community-based organizations! A classic win-win!)

Goodbye for now or Tókša akhé in Lakota & Donadagohvi in Cherokee!

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