Foraging Stories: An Indigenous and Lebanese American Partnership
Facilitated by Lorie Haddad & April Smith
June 29, 2024, 10am - 12pm, Sliding Scale Fee
In this workshop, community will forage for wild grape leaves on private land, and connect to stories from Lebanese and Native experiences. They will then cook the food in the traditional manner together.
Story telling is essential to the history and culture of both the SWANA and Native people. And the importance of preparing food as an artform and expression of one’s culture and identity cannot be overstated. In connecting the SWANA and Native communities to their shared tradition of foraging, both peoples are strengthened as artists and bearers of their cultural traditions.
People from the Native and SWANA communities will meet to share stories, customs and family experiences surrounding the art of foraging and food preparation. The group will forage wild grape leaves, prepare them in the classical Lebanese tradition, and share the finished dish together as a group in fellowship. The class will be recorded to provide the basis of potential future work.
Teaching the art of foraging and preparing grape leaves creates accessibility to those in the SWANA community to reclaim their lost traditions. Those who create traditional foods and tell the stories surrounding their importance, are vital artists and ambassadors of cultural continuity.
Lorie Haddad is a Lebanese American who, as a child, foraged in her family’s yard with her immigrant grandmother. She currently teaches cooking classes with community education that focus on popular dishes from the Levant. A story she wrote about foraging with her grandmother was published in Mizna’s first ever issue. She is really excited to connect foraging stories with the Native American community and share her stories, knowledge and recipe with the group.
April Smith is an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. She works for the University of Minnesota-Extension as a SNAP-Ed Regional Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Indigenous communities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul areas. April not only teaches Indigenous families and individuals about good nutrition she also engages her community in reintroducing the importance of Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Herbalism. April is a Certified Herbalist from Cornell University. April is excited to share her ancestral knowledge, her love of foraging, Indigenous Food Sovereignty, and her love for Lebanese food.