Native American House hosts annual harvest dinner

By Jenny Horne

The Harvest Dinner is inspired by the month of November being Native American Heritage month. The dinner hopes to raise student awareness of the heritage month, and serve students a well-prepared, delicious meal. Tickets for the Harvest Dinner are available for purchase, or can be purchased with University dining hall dollars. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The presentation following the dinner will begin at 5 p.m.

This will be the Native American House’s third year in a row planning a harvest dinner for Illinois students. Beverly Smith, Native American House assistant director, said that this is a great way for students to learn more about Native American culture and food.EJ

“We are trying to diversify students’ experiences in eating, and encourage students to try different dishes from different cultures,” Smith said.

Smith said the Native American House works with the University chefs to ensure that the food is prepared as planned, and also to guarantee that the meal is authentic to a Native American-style meal.

Some of the food being served includes hot apple cider, pheasant, Choctaw pumpkin soup, maple-brined turkey, roasted acorn squash with toasted crumble and warm maple syrup, buffalo jerky and a fry bread action station.

Jill Hennessy, freshman in Business, said that she, along with many other freshmen, are looking forward to the dinner and trying new foods.

“We had an Indian-themed dinner in the dining hall last week and I thought it was really cool, so I’m excited that we have another culture again,” Hennessy said.

Hennessy said the dinners inspired by other cultures help her expand her food choices at school.

“I’m trying to branch out of my American ways because since I’ve come to college, all I’ve eaten is pizza,” she said. “I appreciate them doing this for us.”

Anthony Keener, a senior in AHS, said he is planning to attend the event because the dinner is close to his heart.

“I’m part Native American so I think this is an awesome way to incorporate Native American Heritage Month into our campus,” Keener said. “Something as simple as a dinner is a great way for students to be aware that the month of November honors Native Americans.”

Following the dinner, there will be a harvest dinner presentation, “Indigenous Ingredients and Nutrition.” The presentation will feature Kelly Boeger, Special Populations Student Health Concerns Committee and Housing and Dining dietician as a speaker.EJ

“The presentation will be telling you about the different foods being served — how they’re made and what their nutritional value is,” Smith said.

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