Pokagon Band hosting annual Native Food Summit

Pokagon Band Welcomes Indigenous Food Producers, Harvesters and Chefs to Dowagiac, Michigan

(Dowagiac, MI) – The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians announced they will be
hosting the 2019 Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit in partnership with Intertribal
Agricultural Council (IAC). The event will be held April 25-28thth at the Pokagon Band’s
Rodgers Lake campus in Dowagiac, Michigan. A concurrent Youth Summit will also run
throughout the event.

The Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit is a regional, travelling summit, and the
Pokagon Band will be the fourth respective Tribal host for the event. Past hosts have
been Oneida Nation, Gun Lake Tribe, Red Lake Nation, and the Meskwaki Nation. The
annual event brings together several hundred Native farmers, ranchers, gardeners,
chefs, businesses, policymakers, Tribal agriculture staff, Native non-profits working in
agriculture, food producers and Tribal leaders to share and learn together around
traditional food and agriculture, and food sovereignty.

The Summit highlights traditional and contemporary Native American foods and culinary
arts. Leading indigenous chefs from across North America will prepare and serve meals
featuring indigenous and Native-produced ingredients, some wild foraged from local
areas. Indigenous chefs will also hold small, hands-on workshops showcasing traditional
cooking knowledge and food preparation while mentoring attending youth. A Native
market showcasing Tribal food products and indigenous arts will be featured throughout
the event.

The event unofficially begins with a buffalo butchering workshop on Wednesday
afternoon, April 24th. The officially opening is on Thursday, April 25th with immersive,
hands-on workshops on topics such as sustainability, food security, production practices,
traditional harvest and meal preparation. There will be several opportunities to work
directly with top indigenous chefs, as well as connect with Native harvesters and
producers to forage in the local woods.

Additional workshops, running through Friday, April 26th, include seed banks and seed
saving, discussions on sapping and sugaring a variety of trees, current and historic
economies of indigenous foods, treaty resource inventories and natural resource
management, soil conservation, small scale farming, foraging, harvesting and
processing of a variety of products, butchering techniques and much more.

The Summit is open to all. There are many opportunities to learn, explore and
collaborate on issues of food sovereignty in Indian Country, including discussing relevant
current events, sharing best practices, and networking with other food sovereignty

The cost to attend the full five-day summit for regular registration ranges from $125 to
$175 for food producers and Tribal community members. The fee for Pokagon
community members will be waived. Saturday, April 27th features a day-long Intertribal
Foods Festival. This Festival will include small group demonstrations and food-tasting
stations with interactive activities for all ages. To attend only the Intertribal Foods
Festival portion, registration is $25 per adult. Children under 16 may attend free of

In addition to the workshop tracks offered through the Great Lakes Intertribal Food
Summit, the concurrent Youth Summit features an educational section open to high
school-aged youth. The Summit each year brings Native youth together for a one-of-akind
learning experience exploring issues they will face as the next generation of food
and agricultural leaders in the Great Lakes and Midwest regions. Youth will focus on
engaging with Elders and tradition-bearers to learn cultural skills and practices like
outdoor cooking and reconnecting with the land through gathering wild foods.

This program is open to both enrolled Tribal youth and descendants. For questions or
more information about the Youth Summit, contact Kelsey Ducheneaux at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (605) 850-4079.

For more information on the Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit, or to register, visit

Pokagon Band Contact:
Paige Risser
(269) 783-6199   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Intertribal Agriculture Council Contact:
Dan Cornelius
Intertribal Agriculture Council
(608) 280-1267
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.