Welcome to the NĀTIFS blog! We’re happy to have you! While we aim for this blog to highlight an array of happenings here at NĀTIFS, this will mainly focus on the Indigenous Food Lab, our flagship project that has its home base, kitchen and upcoming studio and Indigenous market in the Midtown Global Market on historic Lake Street in Minneapolis. Our mission is to promote Indigenous foodways education and facilitate Indigenous food access — and the Indigenous Food Lab is central to that effort.
What has the Indigenous Food Lab been up to these past months? We have been focusing on hunger relief efforts since June of 2020 in response to the uprising following the George Floyd murder and the economic and social impact of Covid-19. Over the summer of 2020, we were working with Minnesota Central Kitchen to distribute around 1,500 Indigenous grain bowls per week to homeless encampments, low income housing, and community elders in Minneapolis.
In the fall we switched gears to make fully cooked entrees and soups that were then frozen and distributed to tribal elders and families in communities around the state. We reached 9 of the 11 tribal nations in Minnesota, connected with 7 Native nonprofits, and served more than 77,000 meals in a matter of months.
Now as increasing Covid-19 vaccination rates make it safer to gather, we are looking forward to starting up more of our education endeavors at the kitchen alongside our community service efforts, our garden, and eventual production support for Owamni, our sister restaurant that will be opening in early summer 2021.