In association with the Decolonizing Diet Project at NMU, the 12th annual First Nations Food Taster will be held on Friday, Nov. 9 in the Jacobetti Center.
The event focuses on dishes that are historically tied to the Native Americans of the Great Lakes area.
According to assistant professor of Native American studies Martin Reinhardt, it provides people with a rare opportunity to try less-than-common foods.
“[The Food Taster] is a unique opportunity to partake in foods that aren’t necessarily available every day,” Reinhardt said. “You can’t exactly go to a local restaurant, or to a grocery store, and get Indian food.”
Patrons will be served from two serving lines and seated in a common area. The menu features both traditional and contemporary Native American dishes like venison and bison meatloaf, roasted turkey, wild rice, sweet potatoes, fish, crab abble sauce, cranberry pudding, pumpkin bread, maple baked beans and a variety of pecan-based recipes.
The First Nations Food Taster is part of the ongoing Decolonizing Diet Project, which is an academic research initiative of the Center for Native American Studies, Reinhardt said.
According to the project’s website, the program is a multi-dimensional study that explores the biological, cultural, legal and political aspects of the relationship between people and foods of the Great Lakes region. The project is supported by several organizations, including NMU, the U.S. Forest Service, the Cedar Tree Institute and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, as well as a number of local businesses.
The event also serves as a fundraiser for the Native American Students Association’s largest event of the year – the annual Learning to Walk Together Traditional Pow Wow.
“The pow wow is definitely an immersive experience for students interested in Native American culture,” said senior environmental studies major Hilton DeTar. “It’s a great opportunity to learn about the culture that was here a long time before we were.”
Advance tickets for the event are $5 for students and elders and $12 for the public. They can be purchased at the Center for Native American Studies in 112 Whitman Hall.
Tickets at the door cost $7 for students and elders and $15 for the general public. The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.
For more information, call the Native American Student Association at (906) 227-1397.