The month of November is recognized as National American Indian Heritage Month and is also referred to as Native American Heritage month. This holiday serves as a time to celebrate and honor the culture, heritage, history, and contributions of the original inhabitants of the United States. (source: CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion)
We asked our employees to share their stories around food, family, and traditions.
IT Support Supervisor, 5 years of incredible service
“My family and I frequently have fry bread and corn soup throughout the year, especially during our tribe’s annual powwow. At our powwow, one is able to experience our tribe’s traditions through food, dance, art, and oral storytelling. Food plays a very important role in our culture because we are one with Mother Earth and many of our origin stories come from nature.”
Osage Tribe, Eastern Cherokee Tribe
Pizza Customer Service, 1 year of incredible service
“Food in my culture is seen as a vehicle for embracing those around you. Cooking often involves the whole household, whether you’re blood family or not, and coming together afterwards to share what each person has made is the ultimate goal. I’ve always loved making Wojapi, a type of berry preserve that’s sweetened with honey. It takes a few hours, so usually once it’s been started there’s a lot of time for the family to spend time together while making other dishes to pair with it.”
Employee Advocate, 4 months of incredible service
“As in many cultures, food to members of the Cherokee Nation is crucial to bringing people together, building relationships, and taking care of people. The act of cooking and sharing food is an act of love. Any time that there is an opportunity to cook and eat together is an opportunity to honor heritage, show respect, show love, and instill recipes and traditions in the younger generations.”
Staff Pharmacist, 15 years of incredible service
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe of Akwesasne
Christopher is a proud member of the St. Regis Mohawk tribe of Akwesasne which is part of the Iroquois Confederacy. This time of year, Chris is reminded of how important it is to give thanks during the harvest season.
“The Iroquois Confederacy (the Iroquois word for the Confederacy is Haudenosaunee, which translates to ‘they built longhouses’, or, ‘people of the longhouse’) spans much of New York State and is made up of 6 nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. As many may know, Native American Heritage Month is celebrated in November spanning through Thanksgiving. We know Thanksgiving has been adopted as part of American culture and its purpose is to honor the year’s harvest. The Haudenosaunee believe that “thanksgiving” occurs throughout the year. We give thanks to the natural world for providing the resources to sustain us, celebrating important events like when maple tree sap starts to run, when the first of the fruits arrive in the spring (such as strawberries), and when corn grows on the stalk.”