Gun Lake Pottawatomi Host Intertribal Agriculture’s Great Lakes Summit

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Published April 12, 2016

HOPKINS, MICHIGAN – The 2016 Great Lakes Intertribal Summit will bring together over 200 harvesters, farmers, food product producers, indigenous chefs, and youth April 21-24, 2016 at Gun Lake Pottawatomi’s Jijak Foundation in Hopkins, MI. The event is held as part of the Intertribal Agriculture Council’s (IAC) annual Great Lakes Summit.

The Summit will highlight traditional and contemporary Native American foods and culinary arts. Meals featuring traditional and native produced ingredients prepared by a dozen leading Native American chefs from across the nation will be prepared and served. The chefs will also hold small hands-on, indoor and outdoor workshops on traditional cooking knowledge and food preparation while mentoring youth. A Native foods market showcasing producers, products and indigenous arts will be featured throughout the event.

The event kicks off on Thursday April 21st with presentations and speakers on sustainability, food security, production practices, traditional harvest and preparation knowledge and more. There will be several opportunities to work directly with top native chefs and connect to native harvesters and producers. Break out sessions and focus groups will feature seed banks/seed saving, maple sugaring, soil conservation, small scale farming, foraging, wild rice harvesting, butchering a bison and much more.

The event on Saturday will include small group workshops, demonstrations and food tasting stations dubbed an “Intertribal Foods Festival” with interactive activities for all ages.

The Summit is open to everyone with many opportunities to learn, explore and collaborate on issues of food sovereignty in Indian Country. Last years’ summit was held in Oneida, WI and focused on Tribal food production, marketing and access. The cost to attend the full summit is $100, or $10 per adult to attend just Intertribal Foods Festival on Saturday, April 23rd (kids under 16 attend for free).

In additional to regular workshop tracks the summit will feature a “Native Youth in Food and Agriculture” educational section. The Great Lakes Regional Summit brings Native youth together for a one-of-a-kind learning experience focuses on issues they will face as the next generation of food and agricultural leaders in the Great Lakes Region. Youth will focus on engaging with elders and tradition bearers to learn cultural skills and practices; practices like reconnecting with the land through gathering wild foods and outdoor cooking activities. This program is open to both enrolled tribal youth and descendants.

For questions or more information on the Youth portion, contact Kelsey Ducheneaux at or call 605-850-4079.

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