Today begins a weekend of culinary education, exploration, celebration, and edification as the Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit kicks off its 2016 4 day event. Held by the Jijak Foundation of the Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi Indians, this weekend is the place to be to learn about the foods that sustained the peoples of the Great Lakes. It lasts from Apr 21 - 24. It is also a place to learn from top native chefs while you do it.
The agenda promises workshops on food, sustainability, traditional teachings and knowledge, and farming. Located at 2558 20th St. Hopkins, it is a bit of a drive for those here in Southeastern Michigan's Metro Detroit populace, but not impossible. And for those with a taste for traditional foods, this is the event of the year around here.
Key engagement experiences for attendees include meals highlighting traditional and native produced ingredients, workshops on cooking and food preparations, a small market with native foods and indigenous arts, and more. Additional workshops will include strategic knowledge based educational training and discussion regarding sustainability, food security, and applied skills. Emphasis on production and distribution of resources and the connections needed to create a network with producers and consumers of native foods will also be featured.
For those who are agrarian preservationists and activists, there will be
"break out sessions and focus groups on seed banks/seed saving, maple sugaring, soil conservation and much more"
Of special note is the inclusion of a Youth Track. This event picks up where many sustainability training events fall short in this area. The critical need to pass on teachings and practices has a special area in this event.
On Saturday, do not miss the Drum Social with invited drums Son's of The Three Fires and Southern Straight and the Thunder Buddies (glb youth drum). This is an open invitational social, so all drums are welcome, just as all are welcome to come sing and dance. The social will happen after the family style dinner, so plan for it to be around 7:17 pm - 9:00 pm.
To find out more about this event, please visit their web page at the Jijak Foundation. The fee is $100 for Tribal Producers, and $150 for Agency and Program Representatives. This is a camping weekend, so pack accordingly. Also, as always, consider bringing feast bundles to be ecologically kind. On site registration is available.
For those who cannot make this event, you might wish to consider joining Pagan Pride Detroit Inc. and Ancient Faiths Alliance for their Plant Your Dreams Community Earth Day Festival. Free to attend, it features classes on gardening, homesteading, and small urban farming. This event will be held on April 23 at the Madison Heights Senior Center in Madison Heights from noon until 4:00 p.m. that afternoon. Featuring a seed swap and blessing, the G.L.W.C. of Michigan has opened up a portion of its seed bank for its annual giveaway and swap. Vendors and activities for the whole family promise to make the event worth the trip. Why not plan for both?