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Reviving Native Food Systems and Access to Native Foods: Why It Matters

1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

MCF Members Only

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Join WASH-MN* and MCF for a briefing about reviving Native food systems and access to Native foods. During this conversation, presenters will share stories and data that represent the work around Native foods. We’ll explore what Tribes are doing to revive agriculture and food systems, barriers to food access such as COVID, health inequities related to healthy food options, and opportunities for economic growth that could be ignited through partnerships with philanthropy.

Presenters will share how they are:

  • Reviving access to Native foods, why this matters and what this looks like
  • Funding access to traditional food systems and agriculture
  • Addressing health inequities through healthy food access
  • Providing greater access to traditional and healthy foods to urban Native American children and families


Session Details:

Log-in details will be provided in your confirmation email. This event is open to MCF members and other individuals interested in funding Minnesota's Native organizations. Non-members may get registered by contacting Paul Masiarchin at

Presenters and Organizers:

Head shot of Sean Sherman

Chef Sean Sherman, founder of Native American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS) is Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, SD, has been cooking across the US and Mexico over the past 30 years. Sean has become renowned nationally and internationally in the culinary movement of Indigenous foods. He was recently awarded the prestigious Julia Child Award for dedicating his career to preserving Native American cuisine and creating a holistic, open-sourced system where others can expand on his work. His main focus has been on the revitalization and evolution of Indigenous food systems throughout North America. Chef Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems to gain a full understanding of utilizing Native American ingredients in today’s cuisine. In 2014, he launched The Sioux Chef as a caterer and food educator in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area.


Head shot of Dr. Antony Stately

Dr. Antony Stately is Ojibwe/Oneida and serves as president and executive officer at Native American Community Clinic (NACC) in Minneapolis. NACC provides primary care, dental care, and behavioral health services to the Twin Cities Native American community. Dr. Stately will discuss NACC’s efforts to provide greater access to traditional and healthy foods to the urban Native American children and families they serve. Native American children are among the greatest risk for developing childhood obesity. Much of the risk for Native American children and families is directly related to their ability to access and utilize healthy food options that are consistent with their cultural life ways and their lifestyles.


Headshot of Whitney Sawney

Whitney Sawney, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is the Director of Communications and Policy for the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF). Previously, she interned for former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and was awarded the Wilma P. Mankiller Fellowship with the National Congress of American Indians. Whitney has served as Communications Manager for the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas where she also earned her Bachelor’s Degree.



Native American Agriculture Fund logo

Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) is a private, charitable trust serving Native farmers and ranchers created from the historic Keepseagle v. Vilsack litigation settlement. The Native American Agriculture Fund makes grants to fund business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to Native American farmers and ranchers to support and promote their continued engagement in agriculture.


We Are Still Here - Minnesota logo

We Are Still Here - Minnesota (WASH-MN) is a project of Native Governance Center that supports a network of people and organizations committed to the Reclaiming Native Truth research and its findings. Task Force members include experts and leaders in Native Governance, K-12 Education, Pop-Culture & Media, and Philanthropy. 


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