The Sioux Chef opening highly anticipated food truck

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tatanka_truck-web.jpgThe city of Minneapolis is anxiously

anticipating the opening of The Sioux Chef’s first venue: Tatanka

Truck.

Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota) made waves

over the last year by introducing his unique approach to Indigenous

cuisine. Born and raised on the Pine Ridge reservation in South

Dakota, he attended college at Black Hills State University. Part of

his drive to create an Indigenous cuisine, free of processed sugars,

dairy or flour, came from just being a chef in Minneapolis since the

early 2000s,

“I had been cooking since I was 13 in

the Black Hills, in tourist restaurants. And I thought It was silly

that there was no Native restaurants,” Sherman said. “There were

fusion recipes like buffalo burgers, wild rice risotto and pumpkin

cake,” but nothing truly spoke to traditional Native food.

Sherman’s approach has also been

respectful of the regional culture of the Ojibwe and Dakota people

and will be reflected in the offerings of Tatanka Truck. “I’ve

been surrounding myself with awesome foods and learned how people

were preserving things. I learned about the ancestral food cache. For

us around here, there’s lots of wild rice, corn products and all

the produce that people were growing in the region. The meats are

easy. We’re serving bison, turkey, duck, walleye, smoked lake fish

and on occasion, rabbit.”

Sherman’s efforts are a result of his

work with Little Earth of United Tribes. After he signed on as a

consultant, community officials such as Robert Lilligren (White

Earth) and Nathan Ratner have helped him to begin his work at serving

Native dishes while being a driving force for the urban Indian

community. “The biggest thing is that this is going to be for the

community, to show them that we have really healthy, interesting

foods. We’re looking to hire Native people from across the

community,” Sherman said.

His team also includes Dana Thompson,

who helps with his business strategy and Christine Werner,

responsible for the food management for Tatanka Truck.

The food truck has been secured and now

Sherman, Little Earth and the rest of the team await licensing from

the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The menu is being finalized

and features products from locally-sourced vendors like the Red Lake

Fishery, Dream of Wild Health and Wozupi Tribal Gardens.

For more information on Tatanka Truck,

including its schedule for the summer, visit www.tatankatruck.com or

visit their social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.