The 7th Annual Hunt. Fish. Gather. Dinner was hosted by the Alliance for Native Programs and Initiatives. The event was a culmination of years of hard work by students and staff from the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies. Historically, the project has provided education to the Washington University and local Native community on a more holistic model of health and wellness, with a focus on traditional Native American foods. This year, Hunt. Fish. Gather. has evolved in scope and purpose. The event served as the formal unveiling of the Alliance for Native Programs and Initiatives (ANPI), with over 110 guests in attendance.
After a warm blessing and land acknowledgement by Osage Elder, Jim Duncan, guests were welcomed by Buder Center Director, Kellie Thompson (Seneca). Kellie shared the history of the Hunt. Fish. Gather. program and thanked the partners and sponsors whose support made this event possible. Assistant Director, Wynette Whitegoat (Navajo), then formally introduced the Alliance for Native Programs and Initiatives.
The Alliance for Native Programs and Initiatives (ANPI)
Member organizations include the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies, Lutheran Indian Ministries, Missouri Historical Society, Missouri Humanities Council, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and the Saint Louis Zoo. The mission of ANPI is “to strengthen collaboration among Native Americans and regional organizations in order to increase understanding among all populations about the history and culture of Natives peoples.” ANPI strives to raise the visibility of Native American cultures and history in the St. Louis region, and serves as a platform for the discussion of contemporary Native issues by providing content and context for discussion.
For more information about ANPI please visit their website
ANPI website created by Buder Scholar and MPH ‘20 Candidate, Abaki Beck (Blackfeet Nation).
Sovereign Roots by Clara Stenstrom
MSW’19 Candidate Clara Stenstrom (Ho-Chunk/Salish) took the stage to share her knowledge regarding traditional Native food values and food systems. Through extensive research and personal knowledge, Clara focused on the ways food sovereignty and sustainability were paramount to the survival of Indigenous populations of America before colonization. The process of colonization disrupted the lives of tribal groups and severed their access to foods that are nutritious, abundant, and culturally and spiritually significant. Currently, American Indian and Alaska Native groups experience high rates of diabetes, heart disease, overweight and obesity. The health benefits of traditional native foods and exercise of traditional gathering practices may be the turning point to restoring health to Indigenous communities.
Exploring traditional Native foods with Chef Freddie Bitsoie (Navajo)
Chef Bitsoie is the Executive Chef of The Mitsitam Native Foods Café, the restaurant of The Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. As an Indigenous chef, Freddie sees the revival of Native cuisine from its core elements—the ingredients. “For hundreds of years, ingredients hardly every changed, yet cultures and trends changed all time. Why try to explain food from every changing ideals? Let’s observe food from the ever non-changing ingredient. That point of view is far more delicious and realistic.”
Freddie attended the University of New Mexico, majoring in cultural anthropology with a minor in art history before attending culinary school. Today, he is one of the most sought after and renowned Native American chefs and Native foods educators in the country. He has been featured in the New York Times, National Public Radio, Cowboys and Indians, and America, The Cook book.
The vegetarian menu started with Animas Valley Corn Broth, followed by a delicious Grilled Nopales Salad, and an Agave Braised Butternut Squash entrée.
The non-vegetarian, Harvest Dinner, started with a cut of Seared Salmon, followed by a Grilled Nopales Salad, and a Juniper and Sage Marinated Leg of Lamb entrée.
Both meals finished with a beautifully-made Prickly Pear Cheese Cake.
Sponsors of the 2019 Hunt. Fish. Gather. Program
Squash Bee Level
- Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies, The Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis
- Missouri Humanities Council
- Sandra and Virgil VanTrease
- Saint Louis Zoo
- Explore Green, LLC
- Mary Brong and Edward Spevak