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Native and Nutritious

Ronan students hold food tasting

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RONAN – More than 100 Ronan elementary, middle and high school students learned about native foods and nutrition last week as culinary arts students hosted a food fair. 

“I’ve been wanting to incorporate more ‘Indian Education for All’ standards into my lessons,” culinary arts teacher Katie Umbriaco said. “Sunny Real Bird and I planned this Native Foods Fair as a way for students to explore the historical role of food in the different tribal nations of Montana. Through their research I wanted my students to appreciate the diverse cultural heritages among different tribes.” 

Students were able to sample pemmican, a native food staple made of dried bison, chokecherries, rendered bison fat and honey. Traditional huckleberry preservation methods and demonstrations involving frybread and squash soup were also discussed. 

In addition to the yummy treats, the culinary arts students read excerpts of “I Will Be Meat” which provided information about the role of bison in traditional Salish culture and history. 

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