SDSPA booth at the Lakota Food Summit. Producers & SDSPA Board Members Peggy Martin & Cindy Tolle.

Representatives from SDSPA attended the 1st Annual Lakota Food Summit Feb. 18-20 in Rapid City. The event promoted food sovereignty, tradition, culture and community education. 

Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef, kicked off the event with a chef feature that utilized traditional ingredients. Entertainment followed with hoop dancers and a drum group.  The event included two days filled with educational sessions covering local foods, traditional plants, buffalo, nutrition, food processing, farm to school, and more. The last evening of featured a buffalo dinner.

“The Lakota Food Summit was a great experience. It was inspiring to see people networking together to create food sovereignty on the reservations. Many sessions were held to provide further education on working toward the goal of local foods available for all,” said Peggy Martin, SDSPA Vice President.

Four tracks of breakout sessions offered a wide range of learning opportunities for attendees. Rose Fraser, Oyate Teca Project Executive Director, and Inyan Eagle Elk, from Partnership with Native Americans, provided very useful information about general gardening and traditional Lakota food options. Rhoda Burrows, SDSU Extension and Carmelita Sully, Director of Sinte Gleska University Garden, presented a great session on high tunnels and how they can extended the growing season for local producers. Steve Hernandez, One Spirit Reservation Services Manager, provided information on how to start a non-profit organization or if you have the same goals ways to look for an existing to partner with.  

At the event SDSPA provided a booth to promote the specialty crop and livestock industry. Attending members assisted producers with Specialty Crop Block Grant program information, shared the VISTA worker opportunity in Rapid City area, and promoted the SDSPA website scholarship opportunity.