Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit 2018

The Meskwaki Nation will be hosting 2018 Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit in partnership with the Intertribal Agriculture Council and Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance in Tama, Iowa from May 9-13. Registration is now open at the Eventbrite site by clicking here.  This year’s event will again feature a concurrent regional youth summit. #foodsummit

Here is the full summit program.  Lodging with a special summit rate is available at the Meskwaki Casino and Hotel, and we have an additional lodging option at the camp across the street.  Check out event summaries from past Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summits at Gun Lake Pottawatomi’s Jijak Camp in 2016 and 2017 and Red Lake in 2016.  Also search #foodsummit on social media to find more pictures and stories from past events.


Final Program

This year’s event has over 40 workshops in four overlapping tracks. Click here to download the full program PDF.

We are excited to announce a traditional buffalo butchering workshop this year, led by Arlo and Lisa Iron Cloud, that will cover all aspects of traditional slaughter and preparation.

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And the event will again be featuring a Seed Keeping Track, led by Rowen White, Clayton Brascoupe, and others.

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As always, the food is going to be fantastic with menus from our team of awesome Native chefs, and there are again several workshops on making traditional tools.


Travel, Accommodations, and Other Logistics

The Meskwaki Nation, this year’s host, is located in Tama, Iowa, which is between Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, both of which have regional airports served by major airlines. The event will be held at Red Earth Gardens, which is adjacent to the Meskwaki Casino and Hotel where some sessions and meals will be held.  We recommend making your hotel reservation early to receive the discounted “food summit” event rate,  We are also working to secure nearby camping, and RV spots with electrical hookup are available onsite (reservation required).

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Have ideas, suggestions, or questions?

Past Video of Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit Events:

Maizie White announces Jijak Luncheon

Maizie White describes the Jijak Luncheon at the 2017 Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit at Jijak Camp near Hopkins, Michigan.

Foraging for Food, Fuel and Medicines: Hyssop

The Red Lake Ojibwe Nation and Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) take you on a short walk along part of the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation’s, Red Lake and the woods that surround it foraging for food, fuel and medicines as part of the Great Lakes Intertribal Fall Food Summit held at Red Lake, Minnesota during September of 2016.

Foraging for Food, Fuel and Medicines: American Basswood

Here is Kevin Finny, former Director of the Jijak Foundation for the Gun Lake Pottawatomi in Michigan speaking about the use of American Basswood, one of several species of trees identified during the fall 2016 Intertribal Food Summit held on the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation during September.

Foraging for Food, Fuel and Medicines: Milkweed

With Kevin Finney, former executive director of the Jijak Foundation and Tashia Hart of the Sioux Chef Team in the woods and fields of Red Lake Ojibwe Reservation foraging for food, fuel and medicines as part of the Great Lakes Intertribal Fall Food Summit during September of 2016.

Food Festival Chefs Special at Jijak 2016

During the 2016 Intertribal Food Summit the Saturday’s most favorite presentation were the Chefs special Food Festival — where each chef or team had a chance to prepare and serve to participants their special main dish, salad or dessert.

Making Traditional Ricing Sticks with Roger LaBine

Roger LaBine works with participants making wild rice knocking sticks at the 2017 Great Lakes Intertribal Summit.

Foraging and Harvesting from the Forest

One of the featured workshop of the Intertribal Food Summit is the Foraging for Food workshops. At the Red Lake Intertribal Food Summit it was called “Harvesting from the Forest” and was be led by Tashia Hart of Red Lake, who works with the Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman. Many other participants assistde in identifying and harvesting for the feasts, plants and medicines that are commonly used by Indigenous people for health and nutrition.

Buddy Raphael and the family Bootagan

Buddy Raphael discusses the family Bootagan that they use to grind rice, corn, barley and other products. The Bootagan, or grinding (smashing) cylinder is made of birch and Buddy worked with several participant to help them build their own. The next video below is also about making a Bootagan.

Making Anishinabe Corn and Flour Mortars

Participants at the 2017 Great Lakes Intertribal Summit are shown how to make and use a traditional corn, rice, barley mortar for pounding into meal.

Making Haudenosaunee Planting Sticks

Clayton Bascoupe assists participants at the 2017 Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit making traditional Haudenosaunee Planting sticks.

Today’s Menu by Brian Yazzie – Jijak 2017

Touching base with just one of several Indigenous chefs in attendance at the 2017 Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit at Gun Lake’s Camp Jijak.

Foraging at Jijak for Food and Salads – 2016

Participants of the 2016 Intertribal Food Summit at the Gun Lake Pottawatomi Tribe’s Camp Jijak forage for food and medicine for the event’s meals, while learning about plants and medicines from the woods.