We all came from people that survived something so tragic and to see the beauty of people today of them wanting to reconnect, wanting to learn, wanting to hear their songs, wanting to learn their prayers… is just amazing, especially through food.
– Twila Cassadore
On August 3rd AMP in partnership with MOCAD hosted a special screening of Gather, a 2020 film that captures the growing and vast food sovereignty movement of Native Americans across Turtle Island building community, restoring ancestral foodways, and reclaiming Native food and agriculture systems. The screening was followed by a discussion with chefs and activists from Gather and local Detroiters.
This video is a highlight of the event. You can watch the film Gather on your streaming services.
Here on occupied Anishinaabe land and beyond, food is one of the most powerful tools we have to build community and repair lineages lost to genocide, colonization, and assimilation. Join us for a special screening of Gather, a 2020 film that captures the growing and vast food sovereignty movement of Native Americans across Turtle Island building community, restoring ancestral foodways, and reclaiming Native food and agriculture systems. Stay after the film to hear from “Gather” chefs and activists Twila Cassadore and Nephi Craig alongside local food sovereignty activist and farmer Kirsten Kirby-Shoote as they reclaim and heal their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food. This panel will be moderated by Black agrarian activist and Detroit farmer Shakara Tyler.
- How do you nourish your community and yourself?
- What traditions or ancestral practices do you maintain when you eat?
- Do you know of food sovereignty leaders in your community?
Nephi Craig, BHT, ACRPS (he/his)
Chef Nephi Craig has 25 years culinary experience in America and abroad in Canada, Mexico, London, Germany, Brazil, and Japan. Nephi Craig is an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and is half Navajo. Chef Craig is the founder of the Native American Culinary Association or NACA, an organization/network that is dedicated to the research, refinement, and development of Native American Cuisine. Chef Nephi Craig provides training, workshops and lecture sessions on Indigenous Foods for Health to schools, restaurants, universities, treatment centers, behavioral health agencies, and tribal entities from across America and abroad. Chef Craig served as Executive Chef of the Sunrise Park Resort Hotel. During Chef Craig’s nine-year tenure at Sunrise Park resort, Craig and his White Mountain Apache culinary team achieved many national and international benchmarks in establishing a culture of Indigenous Foods across North America. Chef Craig was featured in the James Beard Award winning film ‘Gather’ in 2020, which showcases Craig’s leadership in the Indigenous Food Sovereignty movement now spreading across the United States and around the world. Chef Craig is currently the Nutritional Recovery Program Coordinator & Executive Chef at the Rainbow Treatment Center at Café Gozhóó on the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona. Chef Nephi Craig is a 2023 James Beard Foundation Nominee for ‘Best Chef Southwest’ and also holds an honorary degree of PhD in Visual Arts: Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art Theory from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.
Twila Cassadore (she/her)
Twila Cassadore is an Arizona-based forager, food educator, advocate for indigenous food sovereignty, and member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe who teaches indigenous food traditions throughout the Western Apache tribes. Through her work, Cassadore promotes the importance of foods consumed by Apaches prior to the forcible relocation of Native Americans to reservations and subsequent reliance on government rations. She interviews tribal elders, takes foraging trips into the wilderness, and delivers public presentations to document and share the pre-Reservation Apache diet, and to incorporate this knowledge into everyday community life. She works on a number of community health issues, cultural preservation projects, and is a professional caterer and food vendor. She is also the founder of the grassroots organization “Native Mothers Against Meth.”
Kirsten Kirby-Shoote (they/theirs)
Kirsten Kirby-Shoote is a Tlingit food activist, chef and urban farmer originally from Portland, Oregon. In 2015, they moved to Detroit in order to explore tangible Indigenous food sovereignty and how ancestral practices can benefit future people and place. Kirsten is dedicated to providing the community with access to traditional foods/medicines, their agricultural project, ~Leilú~ aims to cultivate relationships with our plant relatives to help heal ancestral trauma. They also host pop-up dinners around Detroit to raise awareness of the local Indigenous food-movement and expose a wider audience to Native cuisine.
shakara tyler (she/they)
shakara tyler is a returning-generation farmer, educator and organizer who engages in Black agrarianism, agroecology, food sovereignty and environmental justice as commitments of abolition and decolonization. She obtained her PhD at Michigan State University in Community Sustainability (CSUS) and works with Black farming communities in Michigan and the Mid-Atlantic. She is currently a Lecturer at the University of Michigan in School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS). She explores participatory and decolonial research methodologies and community-centered pedagogies in the food justice, food sovereignty and environmental justice movements. She also serves as board president at the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN), board member of the Detroit People’s Food Co-op (DPFC) and co-founder of the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund (DBFLF) and a member of the Black Dirt Farm Collective (BDFC).