Indigenous Inspired Innovative Independent
We are an autonomous group of Indigenous Chefs, Seed Savers, Artists, Activists, and Knowledge Keepers
M. Karlos Baca
M. Karlos Baca (Tewa/Dine/Nuucui) is an Indigenous Foods Activist from the Southern Ute Nation. He is the founder of Taste of Native Cuisine, which was created alongside the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum, to promote traditional Indigenous Foodways in the community and has grown over the last decade to include work with Tribal Nations across the country, the founder of 4th World Farm which is focused on pre-colonial foods and agricultural systems of the high desert region of the southwest, and is a co-founder of the Indigenous food activist group the I-Collective which has representation of Indigenous knowledge keepers of 18 tribes, from Oaxaca to First Nations, and uses Indigenous Foodways as a medium to combat structural white supremacy and continued warfare against Indigenous people. He is also a writer, a sheep herder, and most importantly a son, father, uncle, and grandfather.
Taelor Barton (Cherokee Nation) is a Indigenous Culinarian that hails from Eastern Oklahoma. She sprung from Claremore, lived in Sand Springs and has maternal roots in the trail ends of The “ Indian” Removal from Southeastern USA to Adair County, OK, being impacted by the example of her mother and family members. They showed her how to make food and how to connect people with it. She studied culinary arts at Tulsa Technology Center in Tulsa, OK where she trained and cooked competitively, later attending OSU-IT for Applied Sciences in Culinary Arts in Okmulgee, OK.’
She has over a decade of professional restaurant experience with local businesses and chefs (Libby Billings, Justin Thompson, Roque Heidler, and fellow Cherokee Nation Citizen Nico Albert) in Downtown Tulsa, having the honor to produce plates for fundraising dinners , like supporting the Tulsa Farmers’ Market.
Taelor has always been connected to her indigenous nation by connecting with her elders, having blissful childhood memories going to native events and spending time with the foods outside in the countryside.. After the loss of her grandmother, Edith (Traditional Dressmaker, Cook, and Cherokee National Treasure) she began to weave indigenous food into her professional training as restaurant cook and chef.
Now, she cooks for her bigger native family in community events, workshops, and dinners in her home state and beyond. Wado to the greater indigenous family of this land!
Twila Cassadore (San Carlos Apache Tribe)
Twila has been working with San Carlos Apache, White Mountain Apache, and Yavapi peoples for the past 25 years, conducting interviews with elders to bring information back into the community to address health and social problems. Twila described the importance of foods like grass seeds and acorn seeds to the diets of Apaches before people were moved onto reservations and became reliant on rations, and later, commodities.
Liz Charlebois is an Abenaki educator, artist, and leader. She was Chair of the New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs from 2013-2016, and is an accomplished basket maker, bead worker, dancer, and farmer. Liz's focus is growing and preserving northeastern indigenous crops. She has established a seed library dedicated to those seeds. Liz uses the food she grows in many indigenous dishes, both traditional and contemporary. She is a member of the younger generation of Abenaki people who are working to preserve and revitalize the culture, history, and identity of our original inhabitants.
Shannon Dosela is a proud member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. He currently resides on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, which where he's lived all his life. Shannon decided to further his education after high school and received a degree in culinary arts from the Le Cordon Bleu. He is currently employed as a line cook with the San Carlos Apache healthcare corporation. Shannon is also a harvester learning to gather different indigenous foods, which his Apache ancestors gathered and is learning to use modern and traditional healthy cooking methods to help his people.
Neftalí Duran is a community cook, advocate, educator, and organizer, working towards an equitable food system and building a network of Indigenous food leaders. He is a former Salzburg Global Fellow and co-founder of the I- Collective, an Indigenous collective that promotes a healthy food system that values people, traditional knowledge, and the planet over profit. His writing and culinary projects have been featured at the Smithsonian Native American museum, the Smithsonian museum of American history, the Native American Culinary Association, LongHouse Food Revival, Food52, and the Cooking Channel, and he has been a featured speaker at The Moth mainstage, Harvard, Smith College and more. Neftalí’s work is grounded in the belief that access to food is a human right.
Neftalí’s work is informed by his own experience as an Indigenous and formerly undocumented migrant worker and 20 years of experience in the restaurant and food industry as chef, baker, and small business owner. He engages in grassroots work and advocacy regarding Indigenous culinary traditions, the effects of migration on people and food, and the environment. His interests include documenting the culinary traditions of the different regions of Oaxaca, Mexico, reclaiming the roots and culture of the original peoples of the Americas, having conversations about the impact of colonialism in our communities in regards to traditional food-ways, and engaging in conversations about the impact of climate change on frontline communities.
Hillel Echo-Hawk (Pawnee and Athabaskan) was born and raised in the interior of Alaska, around the Athabaskan village of Mentasta-home to the matriarchal chief and subsistence rights activist, Katie John. Watching John and other Indigenous Peoples fight for food sovereignty, as well as seeing her mother strive to make healthy, home-cooked meals for her and her six siblings has given Hillel a unique and important perspective on diet and wellness.
Hillel has a passion for local, ethically sourced and sustainable foods, all through an Indigenous lens and perspective. Echo-Hawk is dedicated to the food sovereignty of Native peoples and is committed to empowering all Indigenous Peoples by increasing knowledge of an access to traditional diets and foods. Hillel believes that food should feed not only the body, but the spirit and midshipmen's of the community. Her unique positioning and experience as an Indigenous person is making Chef Echo-Hawk a bright and rising voice in the culinary landscape.
After receiving her Bachelor's degree in Culinary Arts from Seattle Central College, Echo-Hawk has been working as a chef in some of Seattle's most innovated and popular restaurants for several years. She has also worked as a private chef, catering various events form the local Native non-profits and Native community events with pre-colonial, Indigenous meals. Hillel is a sister, aunt, daughter, and active member of her community.
Quentin Glabus (Frog Lake Cree First Nations) graduated from the Culinary Arts program at N.A.I. T. in 2000 and received his first international job at Walt Disney World. His cooking has taken him around the world, where he has held the position of Executive Chef to the Ambassador at the Embassy of Canada in Tokyo, Japan (2008-2009) and Beijing, China (2012-2013) He was also the Canadian Guest Chef representative to the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Taiwan (2011-2012).
Quentin spent three years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2014-2017) where he represented Canadian First Nations cuisine with the Consulate General of Canada. He headed the Canadian Olympic culinary team as a Private Chef. In March 2017, Quentin worked with the Canadian High Commission to Singapore, assisted with celebrating Canada's 150th Anniversary, and traveling through Southeast Asia including Manila, Singapore, and Vientiane showcasing First Nations cuisine. Quentin also took part in the World Gourmet Summit 2017 in Singapore as the Canadian Master Chef representing First Nations cuisine. He currently resides with his wife in New York City and looks forward to continuing his growth in the culinary industry as well as his study of First Nations culture and food. Check out his work online on Wordpress, Instagram, or his Facebook page Chef Quentin Glabus, Private Dinners.
Tashia Hart is a member of the Red Lake band of Anishinaabe and currently resides on the Leech Lake reservation in northern Minnesota. She is the author of the novella Girl Unreserved (2015), author/illustrator of the middle grade novel “Gidjie and the Wolves," and an upcoming manoomin & wild foods cookbook (2021). She has illustrated multiple children's books, writes essays and recipes about wild foods for various organizations and tribal programs, and when she’s not writing, she spends her time crafting birch bark and beaded jewelry--a creative journey that started 32 years ago at the age of five. She believes Indigenous people should control how their stories and likenesses are portrayed, and so has recently started the independent publishing company (Not) Too Far Removed Press. The mission of the press is to get stories and worldviews typically not published by big publishers, out to the people they represent. In addition to the I-Collective, she is a member of the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.
Iaonhawinon (Kaienkehaka/Mohawk) is a dedicated hardworking chef-in-training from Akwesanse, Ontario, Canada. She learned meat cutting skills right out of high school and moved to Toronto to attend George Brown College for her certification in culinary management and is currently honing her skills in upscale Toronto restaurants featuring Mexican, Asian and fusion Cuisine.
She also honours the traditional food of the Mohawk people by cooking traditional family dishes. Iaonhawinon enjoyed sharing her knowledge with community members by recently teaching groups of adult students in the Akwesasne Culture Restoration program, high school graduates preparing to leave home and younger students at the Akwesasne Freedom School.
Iaonhawinon's love of sharing healthy, clean and delicious food is the seed that has grown into to her passion. Visit her Facebook.
Kirsten Kirby-Shoote is a Tlingit food activist, chef and urban farmer originally from Portland, Ore. In 2015, she moved to Detroit in order to explore Indigenous food sovereignty and how it's integrated into urban landscapes. Kirsten is dedicated to providing the community with access to traditional foods/medicines, her agriculture project (Leilú Gardens) mission is to cultivate relationships with our plant relatives and help heal the wounds of ancestral trauma. She also hosts pop-up dinners in Detroit to raise awareness of the local Indigenous food-movement and creating a more equitable food system.
Brit Reed (Choctaw) credits her initial love of cooking and food to her parents. While working in their family's camp kitchen, she began learning from her aunt the importance of cooking for The People in a good way and to embrace traditional women's roles. These experiences led her to pursue learning about traditional foods & medicines. Throughout her time at The Evergreen State College earning her BA and MPA with a concentration in Tribal Governance, she focused her studies on tribal food (in)security, food sovereignty, tribal food policy, and the effects of food on the health of our tribal communities. In 2015, she founded Food Sovereignty is Tribal Sovereignty - a native based group with a large membership base that are engaged in all facets of the the Indigenous Food Revitalization Movement throughout the Americas and parts of Europe. She is currently attending Seattle Culinary Academy. Additionally, she is working with Choctaw Nation Historian, Ian Thompson and Choctaw Nation members to learn more about traditional Choctaw foods that were eaten pre and post contact. At this time she is working with the Tulalip Health Clinic's Diabetes Program to teach healthy cooking classes to the community.
Jessica Sargent is a mother and photographer of the Snipe clan from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. She has been documenting the beauty and struggles of Akwesasne and Indigenous life since she was a teen. Jessica graduated from the Hallmark Institute of Photography in 2005. Since then, she has had the opportunity to chronicle the many events, protests, vigils, and everyday life in and around Akwesasne including the Idle No More march in Ottawa, fundraising efforts for Standing Rock, and the Kanienkeha Codetalkers event honoring Mohawk Veterans. She is the owner of Ink & Paper Photo. When she isn’t shooting, she works with the Friends of the Akwesasne Freedom School, the fundraising arm of one of the oldest Indigenous language immersion schools in North America. Visit her website here.
Erica Scott (Lenape) is experienced in community organizing, advocacy, and fundraising. She is a dedicated anti-sexual/domestic violence and reproductive justice advocate who has worked with tribal communities in New England, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Erica has served on the boards of American Indian Women of Proud Nations, the Native American Alumni of Harvard University, and the Carolina Native Alumni Club (UNC-Chapel Hill). She is an avid women's southern traditional dancer and gardener.
Kristina Stanley ( Ojibwe, Red Cliff ) attended Northland College where she studied Ecopsychology – with a focus on Horticulture Therapy. Her studies focused around food ecosystems, food access, and how an individual’s relationship with food and the natural environment affects both physical and mental health. Finding disparities between chefs and producers and event organizers, she continued her studies, completing the Meeting and Event Management Program at Madison College.
Kristina has worked in the food service industry for over 20 years, specializing in Catering, Event Management, Pastry, and Nutrition. She is a business owner (Abaaso Foods), and works as an independent contractor planning events and conferences, and also shares her knowledge and experience as an Adjunct Instructor in the Hospitality Program at Fox Valley Technical College.
She has also worked as a chef and marketing assistant with the Intertribal Agriculture Council, teaches community cooking classes, volunteered for many years with school garden and chef in the classroom programs and, and has assisted in planning various food sovereignty focused summits, conferences, and pop-up events.
Kristina is currently the Food & Culinary Program Coordinator at NAFSA, and the Program Manager for the I-Collective
Camren Stott is an enrolled member of Little Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa Indians and Owner of Jiibaakwaan Foods, an indigenous catering/dinner party agency that specializes in decolonized modern cuisine. He is currently pursuing his BA in Environmental Sustainability/Food Sustainability. Food justice plays a vital role in Cam’s life and he aspires to make healthy, traditional foods more accessible to his native community.
Brian Yazzie (aka Yazzie The Chef) is Navajo from Dennehotso, AZ on the Navajo Nation. Chef Yazzie has a degree in Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Culinary Arts and is continuing his education to pursue a degree in Hospitality Management from Saint Paul College. He caters private events and provides cooking demonstrations utilizing healthy Indigenous foods free of colonial ingredients. As the Executive Chef at Gatherings Cafe, he enjoys collaborating with other cooks and chefs on Indigenous food projects. Chef Yazzie aspires to explore old and new delectable Indigenous cuisine creations and educate all populations on the health benefits and possibilities of an Indigenous diet.