Ben Jacobs is co-owner of Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery, based in Denver, Colorado. Tocabe first opened its doors in December 2008 and added its second location in 2015 and a food truck last year. Tocabe is the only American Indian owned and operated restaurant in Metro Denver. Ben is a Tribal member of the Osage Nation located in north eastern Oklahoma.
In addition to his work in founding Tocabe, Ben has actively worked to promote American Indian nutrition and healthy eating through workshop in Native communities, as well as advocacy in the Denver area. Part of his philosophy is a “Native first” approach to local foods that places heightened priority in sourcing from Tribal food producers.
Brian Yazzie (aka Yazzie The Cook) is a Navajo Chef from Dennehotso, AZ on the Navajo Nation. Chef Yazzie has a degree in Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Culinary Arts from Saint Paul College. He caters private events and provides cooking demonstrations utilizing healthy Indigenous foods free of colonial ingredients.
As the Chef de Cuisine at The Sioux Chef, he enjoys collaborating with other cooks and chefs on Indigenous food projects. Chef Yazzie aspires to explore old and new delectable Indigenous cuisine creations and to educate all populations on the health benefits and possibilities of an Indigenous diet. Brian has previously partnered with the Intertribal Agriculture Council on Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summits at Gun Lake Pottawatomi and Red Lake, as well as the Taste of Madison.
The Food Sovereignty Symposium & Festival is featuring a series of Indigenous foods meals, including an opening American Indian Foods Pop-up Dinner on Thursday, March 9th at Robinia Courtyard (829 East Washington Avenue). Tickets for this gourmet, multi-course meal are $30/person. There will also be a late night pop-up that night at Forequarter (708 East Johnson).
More information on other event meals will be released over the next few days. Here is the event meal schedule:
Wednesday, March 8th
Slow Food UW Cafe(The Crossing)
Thursday, March 9th
American Indian Foods Pop-up Dinner, 6:00-9:00 (Robinia Courtyard)
Late Night Pop-up(Forequarter)
Friday, March 10th
Lunch: various campus restaurants will feature Indigenous food specials
Friday Fish Fry(The Crossing)
Saturday, March 11th
Taste of the Tribes, 10:00am-12:00pm (Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery)
Rowen White is a Seed Keeper and farmer from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for indigenous seed and food sovereignty. She is the director and founder of the Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed stewardship organization focusing on local seed and education, based in Nevada City CA.
Rowen is the current National Project Coordinator and advisor for the Indigenous Seed Keeper Network, which is an initiative of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at leveraging resources to support tribal food sovereignty projects. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island. She teaches and facilitates creative seed stewardship immersions around the country within tribal and small farming communities.
Rowen is the current Chair of the Board of Directors for Seed Savers Exchange, a prestigious non-profit whose mission is to preserve agricultural biodiversity by saving and sharing heirloom seeds. She is the author of a book entitled ” Breeding Organic Vegetables” as well as a forthcoming book on the seeds and foodways of her ancestral Haudenosaunee people. She weaves stories of seeds, food, culture and sacred Earth stewardship on her blog, Seed Songs.