Because many of you have told me you never hear about stuff like this in time, and because it would be really interesting to attend and consider from the vantage point of many of your research questions, here’s some info on a campus event happening this week.
We are excited to remind the campus community about UNCP’s Third Annual Honoring Native Foodways event, taking place this Thursday, November 10th, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the University Center Annex. As in past years, Honoring Native Foodways has four central goals: to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November; to help UNCP students, faculty and staff honor, understand, and sample foods that are indigenous to the Americas; to emphasize healthy foods that have been part of traditional Indigenous diets for centuries, and which can still be easily prepared today; and to cultivate campus and community collegiality through that experience we all enjoy: eating! Honoring Native Foodways invites the campus and local communities to this free public event.
We encourage all faculty and staff to share a dish that incorporates healthy local foods, particularly foods native to our region. These include local favorites like collards, corn or cornbread, beans, squash, field peas, sweet potatoes, pecans, rice, soups, venison, bison, game, fish, and stews, prepared in the ways that Native people have and still do prepare them. If you are able to bring a dish to Honoring Native Foodways, we ask that it is prepared with low “glycemic index” guidelines in mind. These foods are suitable for persons with blood sugar and diabetic issues. There are many online resources where you will find a variety of low glycemic index foods and recipes. Please avoid bringing processed, prepared, or highly sweetened, fatty, or salty foods.
But Honoring Native Foodways is not only a potluck. The event will provide booklets of recipes, information about traditional American Indian diets and health, and American Indian “first foods” stories. Information tables with representatives from various campus and community groups will be on hand to provide information on a range of Native health and cultural topics, and we will also have local farmers and other vendors at the event with foods to sample, purchase, or just learn more about. In addition, UNCP students will share their family foodways traditions and research on the histories of American Indian traditional foods at different times during the event.
The Native Foodways Committee members include: Dr. Cherry Beasley of the Nursing Department; Lisa Bullard and Robert Canida of the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs; Alesia Cummings, Dr. Jane Haladay, and Dr. Mary Ann Jacobs of the American Indian Studies Department; Steven Hunt of the Center for Academic Excellence; Lawrence Locklear of University Communications and Marketing; Tonya Elk Locklear of the Biology Department; and Janice Fields of the Robeson County Cooperative Extension. Please contact any of us with your questions about this event. We look forward to your best recipes and your good company on November 10th!