Elk Choginyapi, a corn sandwich dish served at Owamni. (Credit: The Story Exchange)

The power of ancestral foods is on display at Owamni, winner of the 2022 James Beard Award for best new restaurant in the country. Owners Sean Sherman (a.k.a. “The Sioux Chef”) and Dana Thompson have created a “de-colonized” menu that exclusively serves Native foods, from lake fish to rabbit to bison. There’s no wheat flour, cane sugar or dairy, as those ingredients were brought here by European settlers. The experience is part of a larger trend called “food sovereignty,” or the right of Native Americans to have culturally appropriate food, raised sustainably. We check out the restaurant, perched above the swirling waters of the Mississippi, and take a walk at a tribal community farm where many ingredients are sourced.