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)
To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, we asked our employees to share their stories around food, family, and traditions.
Perishable Manager, 22 years of incredible service
Matt has held various positions throughout his 22-year career with Wegmans, and in his current role as a Perishable Manager oversees several departments such as Bakery, Produce, and Olde World Cheese. He takes pride in his Native roots and enjoys connecting with folks from various backgrounds while sharing his passion for foods authentic to his culture. We’ve sat down with Matt in the past to get his thoughts on what Native American Heritage Month means to him; this year he expanded on the role food plays in his culture and even shared a family recipe with us:
“When visiting with family as a younger child, one of the foods that I remember most, and one of the foods I would get most excited about, is Native American Fry Bread. It is not a complex recipe, and each person has their own unique way of making it, but I remember that everyone was able to help make it, and it was something we could do as kids and not make a total mess of everything. It’s one of those foods that is just so comforting to eat with your family, and each person can enjoy it as a savory or sweet dish depending on what toppings they used. Making and enjoying it together was just always so fun and really spoke to the importance of togetherness in our Native Family.”
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.”