GROWING NATIVE will be a seven-part series focusing on reclaiming traditional knowledge and food ways to address critical issues of health and wellness, the environment and human rights. GROWING NATIVE will focus on Tribes, stories and events from seven geographic regions, including the Northwest, Southwest, Southern Plains/Oklahoma, Northeast, Southeast, Northern Plains/Canada and Alaska. Across the country, Native people are regaining health and strength through the recovery and revitalization of traditional knowledge systems of land, language, traditional arts and health.
This festival, and others like it, has the unique opportunity to bring multitudes of people together in one place to share their enthusiasm and respect for their cultures. Singers, dancers and artisans from across the state of Alaska come to the UAF campus for three nights of cultural celebration, and the event is organized and ran entirely by students.
This February, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel up to Alaska to film the latest episode of Growing Native. This trip would be the first of two as host Chris Eyre explores Alaska and all its Native cultures has to offer.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: Alaska is a special place. Having never been to Alaska before, I was anxious to discover for myself just what exactly all the hoopla was about, and I figured two days would be enough.
The production team for the upcoming Vision Maker Media series Growing Native recently came together to put the finishing touches on the Northwest episode. Chris Eyre (Southern Cheyenne/Arapaho) stopped by our offices in Lincoln, Nebraska on his way to the Sundance Film Festival. Eyre worked with series Producer Brandon Verzal and Associate Producer Blue Tarpalechee (Muscogee Creek) on the voice over, editing, and green screen elements for the recently filmed Northwestern episode. Vision Maker Media’s Executive Director, Shirley Sneve, was also in attendance for the green screen segments, pulling from her years of experience working with Native people to provide valuable insight into the process.
Salmon and Bannock Bistro features First Nations cuisine. They won the Aboriginal Tourism BC award in 2012 for food and beverage. Besides being a delicious place to eat, here’s why I like this place. The food is from the region, and indigenous. The menu changes with the seasons. I had salmon (of course), but we also tried some other things, like muscox, bison—and bannock.
I spent last winter in northern Italy on a fellowship. Something that struck me was how differently people viewed food. For example in a village where I was staying, shopping for food was an every day event. People would walk through a open air market, see what was fresh, and buy enough for a day or two. The vegetables, the pastas, meats, fish or dairy, were all sold by the farmer, fisher or rancher. The food chain was quick and visible.