Vern DeFoe (Red Lake Ojiway) watches as Sean designs the first plate. Vern has been working in an assortment of restaurants over the past 15 years. He first met Sean when he worked at the Common Roots Cafe, where Sean was the head chef for a number of years. Vern noted “I’ve always wanted to do what Sean is already doing, finding out indigenous ingredients. My great grandma always talked about things that at you never hear about people eating now. Things like lily pad roots and stuff like that.” When the Tantaka truck was started, Sean asked Vern to come on board. On the truck, Vern helps manage, creates recipes, trains newer workers, cooks, does dishes, and any other job that needs completing. When I asked him about working with other Native chefs at events like this, he replied “Its exciting to me to meet other people that are into the same exact stuff we are, it’s exciting to know that it’s not just us here, and it just feels good to work with Indigenous people.” Photo by Elizabeth Hoover

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