Dana Thompson

(Mdewakanton Dakota, Wahpeton Sisseton)
Co-owner/COO, The Sioux Chef
Executive Director, NATIFS

A lineal descendant of the Wahpeton-Sisseton and Mdewakanton Dakota tribes and lifetime Minnesota native, Dana has worked for nearly a decade within the food sovereignty movement. As co-owner and chief operating officer of The Sioux Chef, she manages all business development strategies for the company. She has traveled extensively throughout tribal communities, engaging in critical ways to improve food access and implementing strategies to do the most possible good as a social entrepreneur. In 2018, Dana jointly founded the non-profit NATIFS (North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems) for which she is executive director. Through this entity, she focuses her expertise on addressing and treating ancestral trauma through decolonized perspectives of honoring and leveraging Indigenous wisdom.

Prior to her work with The Sioux Chef and NATIFS, Dana worked for over twenty years as a lead marketing specialist — overseeing product merchandising, marketing, special events, talent management, media relations, and project management in diverse industries and settings. Previous clients include Target Corporation, MusicMatters, Effect Partners, GoKart Labs, Aster Pictures Corporation and DIY Network, a multinational cable network owned by Discovery, Inc. An acclaimed jazz and Americana vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and music producer, Dana has released seven albums.