Revitalizing Food: Oglala Lakota Chef Serves Pre-Colonization Menu


Before there was fry bread, there were sage, white pine, chokecherries and wild buffalo.   Before Europeans unloaded wheat and sugar cane and introduced beef to Turtle Island, Natives hunted and fished. They planted potatoes, squash and corn, and they flavored their food with purslane, rose hips and dandelion.  That traditional diet, or what Chef Sean Sherman calls the “pre-colonization diet,” is the bedrock for a new restaurant set to open this fall in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Sherman, who is Oglala Lakota, plans to use only indigenous foods in the restaurant, which he has appropriately named The Sioux Chef.  “I’m not using any European ingredients,” he said. “Everyone knows what meat was here, but I was interested in the other things—how they dried corn and squash; how they ground things into flour; and all the beans, berries, wildflowers and tree fruits. There are plenty of flavors to play with.”   I personally will try and get in opening night.

Ixel Balamke

Ixel Balamke was one of the two founding members of Sekhet-Bast-Ra in Oklahoma City. Currently living in the Twin Cities, she is currently the LBM of Leaping Laughter Lodge. She also is a Meanad and lover of fine wines. Her life long partner Hunahpu and she are well known for their Wine Tastings at NOTOCON. Together they have a small wine cellar that currently holds over 300 bottles.

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