Decolonizing Diet Project: GRCC Native American Student Organization and culinary program sharing Anishinaabe history and culture

Culinary student preparing food.

Grand Rapids Community College’s Native American Student Organization has partnered with the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education on an event focused on sharing Anishinaabe history and culture.

The Decolonizing Diet Project Culinary Speaker Events, offered online 6-8:30 p.m. Nov. 8, will feature a panel of experts discussing the topics of food sovereignty, clean water, land access, foraging and cooking as a way of learning traditions. The speakers are:

  • Dr. Martin Reinhardt, a Native American Studies professor at Northern Michigan University and president of the Michigan Indian Education Council.
  • Frank Sprague, drummer from the Gun Lake Band Potawatomi Nation tribal elder Turtle Clan.
  • Camren Stott, an Anishinaabe personal chef, a Grand Valley State University advisor and co-owner of Thirteen Moons Kitchen.
  • Myriah Williams, a GRCC alumna and Gun Lake youth specialist now attending graduate school at NMU.

Williams and Stott will lead a live cooking demonstration, and Sprague will open and close the event. In-person registration for the event has closed but you can still sign up to participate online through the link here. You can also find a QR code on the NASO Facebook page here.

The culinary speaker series is funded, in part, through a grant NASO received from the Native American Heritage Fund in 2019. The student organization also sponsored a trip to the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinaabe Culture and Lifeways in Mount Pleasant.

“The GRCC NASO would like to thank the Native American Heritage Fund board members for awarding us this grant back in the fall of 2019,” GRCC NASO President Rachel Beecher said. “As our grant proposal states, the GRCC Education and Reconciliation Project will create educational opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the greater community that will enable individuals to learn about Anishinaabe history and heritage as a way to foster awareness, dialog, understanding, and reconciliation. NASO accepted this opportunity with humble hearts and have diligently worked with much enthusiasm and excitement ever since. We understand the importance of further enriching GRCC and the greater Grand Rapids community with events that delve into the hidden histories and present day happenings of the Anishinaabe peoples and culture.”  

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