MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 16 FALL 2017 • SIOUX CHEF • Odanah, Wis.—Chef Sean Sherman isn’t your average chef. Many chefs spend years mastering the culinary arts of communities far away. Some focus on Italian cuisine, others focus on exceptional Asian dishes. Chef Sean Sherman simply wanted to cook with the foods of his ancestors. Sean grew up on the Oglala Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. For him, a big part of understanding his identity has been through food. He’s spent many years relearning the intricacies of indigenous food systems and the many uses of plants and wild game. “Totrulyunderstandtheseresourcesistoknowthemanyuses.Someplantsare not only foods, but can be used medicinally or used as natural dye,” Sherman said. OnJune29theSiouxChefteamarrivedinOjibwecountry.BadRiver,situated on the shores of Gichigami (Lake Superior), has been home to Anishinaabe for many generations. Like many tribal communities, the majority of the reservation is undeveloped, making it a prime location for foraging. Youth and community members took the woods and waterways in search of culinary supplies. Bad River NaturalResourceDepartmentstaff,communitymembers,andtheSiouxChefteam took turns helping youth to identify wild plants and their uses.The group harvested cattails, grape leaves, ginger, cedar, rose petals, berries and a few other tasty plants. “I had never known that we could eat some of these plants that we see every day,” said Bad River youth Tim Oja. Identifying and harvesting are some of the first steps in the process of healthy eating, and cooking is the third. With so many processed foods in the system these days, many cooks have forgotten how to prepare certain harvestable foods in a manner that is both tasty and healthy. Many of the health disparities seen across Native American communities can be attributed to diet and the negative effects of processed foods. Chef Sherman said that fry bread has become the face of the tribal culinary experience and it’s shocking. Fry bread, created with government issued commodities, is typically cooked in a pool of grease and is by no means traditional or healthy. Youth and community members took to the kitchen and began to clean, cook and prepare a delicious lunch, with only foods harvested within the reservation boundaries. The crew also began to prep the com- Sioux Chef travels to Ojibwe country By: Dylan Bizhikiins Jennings, Staff Writer Sean Sherman, Dana Thompson, and Vern Defoe are part of the Sioux Chef team that visited and prepared indigenous cuisine for the Bad River community June 29-July 1. (P. Maday photo) Maple roasted squash with vegetables and seeds was a favorite dish amongst those who attended the community dinner. (P. Maday photo) Inset: The family-style com- munity meal was developed around ingredients native to the area including wild greens, berries, and cedar. The Model Food and Agriculture Code Project is a 3-year project coor- dinated by the University of Arkansas School of Law Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI). The project aims to serve as a resource for tribal governments by providing model codes in food and agriculture for review, adoption and implementation. The IFAI team is currently drafting codes, with the model code expected to be released next year. In addition, the IFAI team is providing tribes with technical assistance to more effectively advocate for federal food policies that support tribal sovereignty. The IFAI team recently released an assessment of the 2018 Farm Bill, available at The IFAI will be conducting food policy roundtables during this fall on issuesrelatedtofoodaccessandfoodsovereignty,focusingonU.S.Department of Agriculture feeding programs (SNAP, WIC, School Lunch, Summer Food, etc.), along with providing information about the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill. Roundtables are scheduled at Oneida, Wisconsin (October 5) and Mil- waukee (NCAI meeting, October 15-19). For more information, visit www. —P. Kebec Comments sought for model codes in tribal food, agriculture Waagaagin learning through my GLIFWC internship By Jordan Tabobondung GLIFWC Planning & Development Intern Growing up, I remember my grandmothers, mother and aunts talk- ing about how we used to harvest and eat waagaagin, the Anishnaabemowin word for fiddlehead ferns. They said to me that we didn’t harvest or eat them so much anymore. Few people knew what to look for to determine whether they were the correct species of fern, or if they were ready for harvest. Earlier this year, GLIFWC Plan- ning and Development’s Traditional Foods Program began working with a researcher at the Metropolitan Uni- versity College in Denmark. During the last part of May and early part of June, I followed along with GLIFWC staff and collected samples of bracken fern fiddleheads for a trial study. “The study will provide pre- liminary information on the levels of a naturally occurring, but potentially harmful,chemicalinlocalbrackenfern stands,”saidOwenMaroney,GLIFWC community dietitian. “Bracken fern is found on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. The fiddleheads, or young, deeply arched shoots, are a traditional Anishinaabe food. These young fiddleheads are frequently consumed in Asian diets in places like Japan and China.” GuidedbyGLIFWCstaff,Ilearnedtheidentifyingfeaturesofthefiddleheads that were ideal for collection in this study—those possessing a deep “U” curve of thefrondsduringthefiddleheadstage.Thisincludedcollectingfiddleheadsgrowing in a variety of sun exposure (full sun, partial shade, and fully shaded) within the same GPS coordinate. We gathered samples at the stage of growth and tenderness recommended by community elders during the Mino Wiisinidaa! project from 2011-2014.After locating the ideal samples, we cut the fiddleheads just above the Jordan Tabobondung (see Waagaagin, page 18) (see Sioux Chef, page 19)