Native Foods for Thanksgiving
Every year, Americans gather around a festooned table to eat turkey and sides in celebration of Thanksgiving, a holiday that Abraham Lincoln officially founded in 1863 to unify people during the Civil War.
However, the narrative taught in elementary schools of the natives and pilgrims happily convening for a meal isn’t quite the whole story, and a group of diverse indigenous chefs — and indigenous people generally, who live across the Americas — are using their food culture as a means to tell the correct story about the holiday.
Chef Sean Sherman, whose cookbook The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen won a James Beard award this year for Best American Cookbook, grew up in South Dakota but lives in Minneapolis. He now runs a restaurant called The Sioux Chef and the Indigenous Food Lab, a nonprofit that will help open indigenous restaurants across the country. Sherman explained that Americans already eat some indigenous, or pre-Colonial, foods on Thanksgiving — squash, pumpkin, cranberries, turkey and sweet potatoes — and that European settlers introduced post-Colonial staples like sugar, wheat flour, dairy and beef to North America.
Try one (or all!) of these five native recipes from the Huffington Post website. Bon appetit and happy Thanksgiving!