An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
April 5, 2003 - Issue 84
Promoting Sustainable Southwestern Cuisine
by S.J. Wilson - The Navajo-Hopi Observer
The historic La Posada Hotel recently housed an impressive multi-cultural
celebration featuring sustainable foods and farming traditions of the
by Slow Foods USA and the Turquoise Room of La Posada, Northern Arizona
Universitys Center for Sustainable Environments honored Hopi, Zuni,
Navajo, Hispanic and Anglo land stewards of the desert Southwest, which
has also passed on their agricultural traditions to younger generations.
"Sustainable Foods from the Four Corners: Networking Marketplace
Tribute," the event filled a full day on March 8 at the La Posada
Hotel in Winslow.
R. Sharpe, La Posadas Turquoise Room chef, presided over the event.
He encourages local farmers to grow foods for use in the restaurant.
presented the menu that he and Chef Deborah Madison prepared a
cornucopia of Southwestern foods including piki bread, blue corn muffins,
tomaya blue atole, camelthorne honey, sunflower sprouts, prickly pear,
lamb and venison.
has taught cooking in schools throughout the United States and Canada,
and envisions teaching Southwestern cuisine in a home teaching kitchen.
She has lived in Santa Fe, N.M., for the past 12 years.
Beiina Inc, achieved recognition for preserving and teaching
the Navajo tradition of churro sheep. Joan Delgai serves as president
of this organization, which sponsors the annual "Sheep is Life" event.
Enote, recognized for his extraordinary efforts in Zuni agriculture, is
co-founder of the Zuni Organic Farmers Co-op and Zuni Sustainable Agriculture
Willie teaches permaculture a sustainable design system stressing
the harmonious interrelationship of humans, plants, animals and the Earth
at places such as schools near Leupp, Tolani Lake, Bird Springs
and Flagstaff. As manager of Navajo Family Farms near Leupp, Willie has
been instrumental in marketing the first native blue corn in Arizona.
has dedicated his life to sustainable agriculture, having learned it as
a child, and having taught it both on and off the Navajo reservation for
the last 20 years.
I am trying to reinvest in the children our knowledge," Willie said. "If
we lose our agricultural practices, our culture, our land and our animals,
we lose who we are as Navajo people, we lose our community.
preserve these when we get the kids back on the land."
Others honored included:
are working on a cookbook of traditional foods that will be distributed
throughout the community," she said. "It is amazing the amount of food
available in the Sonoran Desert."
program TOCA and community youth is involved in uses traditional native
foods to treat diabetes foods Paganelli said have proven to affect
particularly moving quote from Christine Johnson, a Tohono Oodam
elder, was displayed prominently at the TOCA booth.
year I sang for the rain to come. This year with TOCAs help
I had a garden full of traditional foods. This year, I sang like
I really meant it."
Fiss, who coordinated the event, said that CSE hopes to make this an annual
occurrence, moving it to the fall where more products can be displayed.
are so many unique products that attract national and world interest in
Southwestern cuisine," Fiss said. "It is fitting that those [who have
preserved these foods] should benefit. This allows traditional people
to continue to be stewards of the land rather than having to move to the
Part of the work of the center is to teach the respect of cultural products as an intellectual property, working with people who "know what the legacy is" and to protect those resources from commercialism.
the native foods and repatriated seeds presented at the celebration, La
Posada faced a decline and threat of extinction. Open for only 27 years,
La Posada closed to the public in 1957.
1997, Allan Affeldt and Frank Randall purchased the hotel. David Lutzick,
manager, has joined the partnership, which saves a truly grand old hotel
for future generations.
Seeds/SEARCH, an organization also represented at the event, was just
one donor of dozens of repatriated seeds presented to the Hopi Natural
Resources Department. This gift, coordinated by the Hopi Cultural Preservation
Office and CSE, offers seed varieties, some of which have been unavailable
since World War II. Micah Lomaomvaya accepted the seeds on behalf of the
Hopi Tribe. Hopi farmers will plant some of the seeds this season; others
will be preserved at tribal offices.
Center for Sustainable Environments describes itself as a catalyst for
collaborative conservation, bringing together the talents and expertise
of people ranging from scientists and educators to students and community
members seeking creative solutions to environmental problems. Research,
education, outreach and stewardship are some of the tools CSE uses in
Gary Nabhan, PhD, the Director of CSE, served as host and master of ceremonies for the event and the banquet, which featured foods from the Four Corners region. Nabhan, widely recognized as a leading voice in ethnobiology and conservation biology, has worked with more than a dozen indigenous communities on cross-cultural initiatives to protect plants, habitats and agricultural traditions.
|Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.|
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.
The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.