February 2018

Native American Cuisines: Traditions and Contemporary Contexts, April 13-14

What’s the connection between cultural wellness and bodily health? Can a change in what people eat change not only the way they feel, but also the way they understand their history, their heritage, and their future?

This special symposium at Gilcrease Museum will draw together native chefs, filmmakers, food historians, healthcare experts, and activists to explore the cultural and health effects of indigenous cuisines.

The event begins on Friday, April 13, with a ticketed talk and dinner prepared by Ben Jacobs and Matt Chandra, the innovative native chefs behind Tocabe restaurant in Denver, Colorado.

On Saturday, April 14, lively panel discussions will focus on various aspects of native food, ranging from the mental and physical health effects of indigenous cuisines to the work of the historians, seed keepers, and chefs who are both honoring and reinventing traditional dishes.

Join us for acclaimed Oklahoma director Sterlin Harjo’s 30-minute pilot for Tradish. The program features stories of native chefs who are recovering exciting, traditional recipes and also exploring how native food ways can evolve and change while still holding firmly to their roots.

There will also be a ticketed tasting lunch prepared by Nico Albert, native chef and executive chef at MixCo in Tulsa, and attendees will have the opportunity to try an innovative sampling of contemporary native dishes.

The symposium is free and open to the public and general admission to Gilcrease museum on April 14th is free! Visitors will be able to drop in and out of the panels, take special food-themed tours of the Gilcrease collections, have health screenings and more.

Dates: April 13-14, 2018 @ Gilcrease Museum


Lecture and meal with Chefs Ben Jacobs and Matt Chandra from Tocabe in Gilcrease Restaurant (per-seat fee $80)


10 a.m. Opening event (Native Nations Youth Drum Group)

10:30 a.m. Panel on food, culture and wellness featuring a discussion of historical trauma, resiliency and the link between culture and wellness

  • Valerie Bluebird Jernigan
  • Lisa Cromer
  • Thosh Collins (Well for Culture)
  • Joanna Shadlow (moderator)

12 p.m. Lunch (ticketed: catered by Nico Albert and Bradley Dry). Ticket prices are $10, first come first serve.

1 p.m. Screening and discussion of Tradish with director Sterlin Harjo

(Moderator from Osiyo)

2 p.m. Panel on traditional and modern food ways that will include native chefs and food historians.

  • Nico Albert
  • Feather Smith-Trevino
  • Ben Jacobs
  • Joe Johnston
  • Sasha Martin (moderator)

3:30 p.m. Closing remarks

Follow our Facebook event page to keep up with all announcements and updates, including meal ticket sales: https://www.facebook.com/events/544311942573724/