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CCSS: 5.OA.A.1, 4.OA.A.3

TEKS: 5.4B

Celebrating Food Roots

A new training center teaches delicious cooking traditions 

DAN KOECK/The New York Times/Redux 

Chef Sherman prepares a plate using wild greens.


As a chef, Sean Sherman noticed something strange. Throughout the United States, he found restaurants serving food from many different cultural groups except one—Native American. Sherman decided to do something about it. In August 2020, he opened a training center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s the country’s first Indigenous Food Lab. 

Sherman is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. It’s one of 665 Indigenous Nations across the U.S. Each Nation has its own food traditions based on local plants and animals. “In every region, Indigenous food is unique,” says Sherman.

Sean Sherman is a chef. He noticed something strange. He looked at restaurants throughout the United States. The restaurants served food from many different cultural groups. But none of the restaurants served Native American food. Sherman decided to do something about it. Sherman opened a training center in August 2020. The training center is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s the first Indigenous Food Lab in the U.S.

Sherman is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. This Nation is one of 665 Indigenous Nations across the U.S. Each Nation has its own food traditions. These traditions are based on local plants and animals. “In every region, Indigenous food is unique,” says Sherman.

Dana Thompson 

But those traditions have been threatened. In the 1800s, the U.S. government forced many Native Americans to leave the lands where they were experts at growing and preparing food to live on reservations. A reservation is land set aside by the government for one or more Native Nations. This removal harmed the health and culture of many Native Americans. 

Sherman doesn’t want his ancestors’ food traditions to be lost. The food lab teaches students how to grow traditional ingredients and cook Native dishes. Its goal is to help Indigenous communities open their own restaurants. 

But those traditions have been threatened. The U.S. government forced many Native Americans to leave their homelands in the 1800s. Native Americans were experts at growing and preparing food on those lands. But they were taken away to live on reservations. A reservation is land set aside by the government for one or more Native Nations. This removal harmed the health and culture of many Native Americans.

Sherman doesn’t want his ancestors’ food traditions to be lost. The food lab teaches students how to grow traditional ingredients. Students also learn to cook Native dishes. The goal of the food lab is to help Indigenous communities open their own restaurants.

 

1. corn
2. milkweed pods
3. bergamot
4. juniper

“We even have a garden for teaching,” says Dana Thompson, who is Dakota and the lab’s co-founder. 

Sherman and Thompson plan to open training centers in other cities. This is so that one day, you won’t have to look far to find a Native American restaurant. “Then you can experience all of this cultural diversity yourself,” says Sherman. 

“We even have a garden for teaching,” says Dana Thompson. Thompson is Dakota. She is the lab’s co-founder.

Sherman and Thompson plan to open training centers in other cities. They hope that one day Native American restaurants will be everywhere. “Then you can experience all of this cultural diversity yourself,” says Sherman. 

Now You Try It

Solve the following questions using what you know about equations with unknowns.

Solve the following questions using what you know about equations with unknowns.

A. A total of 1,208 Indigenous Nations are in the U.S. and Canada combined. 665 Nations live in the U.S. alone. The variable j represents the number of First Nations located in Canada. Which equation is true?

A. 1,208 − 665 = j

B. 1,208 ÷ 665 = j

C. j − 665 = 1,208

D. 1,208 + j = 665


B. Solve for j


A. A total of 1,208 Indigenous Nations are in the U.S. and Canada combined. 665 Nations live in the U.S. alone. The variable j represents the number of First Nations located in Canada. Which equation is true?

A. 1,208 − 665 = j

B. 1,208 ÷ 665 = j

C. j − 665 = 1,208

D. 1,208 + j = 665


B. Solve for j


Sean Sherman’s recipe for wild rice cakes calls for 2 cups of cooked rice. How many times could you make Sherman’s recipe if you had 12 cups of cooked rice? Write an equation using z for the variable and solve. 

Sean Sherman’s recipe for wild rice cakes calls for 2 cups of cooked rice. How many times could you make Sherman’s recipe if you had 12 cups of cooked rice? Write an equation using z for the variable and solve. 

The Indigenous Food Lab will also include a restaurant. The dining room can seat 88 people, with more seats on the patios. If every dining room seat was filled, 63 people ate on the patios, and 72 people picked up takeout orders, how many total people would be served?

The Indigenous Food Lab will also include a restaurant. The dining room can seat 88 people, with more seats on the patios. If every dining room seat was filled, 63 people ate on the patios, and 72 people picked up takeout orders, how many total people would be served?

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the team that created the Indigenous Food Lab served free meals. During one week, it served 2,500 meals. Use the table below to figure out how many meals the team served on Wednesday.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the team that created the Indigenous Food Lab served free meals. During one week, it served 2,500 meals. Use the table below to figure out how many meals the team served on Wednesday.

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