Burning Cedar Sovereign Kitchen, Inc is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization now operating as Burning Cedar Sovereign Wellness, a forthcoming urban Indigenous community space, brought to you by Burning Cedar Indigenous Foods.
We are dedicated to addressing socioeconomic disparities, health crises, and cultural disconnection affecting Indigenous communities by re-establishing ancestral foodways, birthing practices, and traditional medicine, educating future generations of Indigenous cooks, supporting Indigenous food producers, teaching sustainable and environmentally restorative practices, and providing resources for our people to improve their spiritual and physical health through ancestral ways of knowing.
GATHER | HEAL | GROW
Burning Cedar Sovereign Wellness is a solution to bring the knowledge of healthy traditional foodways and Indigenous wellness practices to families who live in the urban community.
A Native Foodways Classroom
Burning Cedar Sovereign Wellness will provide training and education through our Sovereign Kitchen programs, where the focus will be sourcing and preparing traditional foods in order to improve physical health and restore cultural connection to the plants, animals, and land. Our programs will feature:
+ in-person and in-field training courses and presentations
+ classroom kitchen with instruction by qualified expert Indigenous knowledge keepers
+ career support for community members interested in pursuing careers in culinary arts
+ community meeting space with indoor and outdoor dining areas
+ outdoor kitchen for traditional wood-fire cooking methods
+ teaching gardens for growing traditional food crops, pollinator species & medicines
Burning Cedar Sovereign Wellness will provide space for training future doulas to offer culturally affirming and anti-oppressive birth support to the Tulsa Native community. Doulas will receive education from trained and experienced professionals from within the Indigenous community to provide information, emotional, and physical support to birth givers throughout labor and birth. They will also learn to provide continuous care and help prepare birth givers for the transformative moments of their birth. Less than 1 percent of America’s lactation consultants are Indigenous, so it is vital that in addition to birthing support training, we will train Indigenous people as breastfeeding peer counselors so they can serve their own community through our lactation counseling programs.
The inclusion of Indigenous birthwork and lactation consulting supports our overall goal of improving health and wellness in the urban Indigenous community by reintroducing ancestral ways of knowing. The worlds of Indigenous birthwork and food sovereignty intersect in the social, cultural, and environmental challenges of a deficient food system. Infant and child health issues such as childhood obesity are a big concern in our communities, and healthy habits are best started young. Breastfeeding and traditional or cultural first foods consumption has been shown to result in healthy infants and children who grow to be healthy adults.
Native American communities have sustainably managed their lands for thousands of years, cultivating, adapting, and transferring traditional ecological knowledge over many generations. This expansive reservoir of knowledge and deep connection to land keep Native communities strong and encourage the land to be more productive. Such relationships also benefit the natural world that we depend on, and the importance of being in harmony and true connection with places [First Nations Development Institute]. Burning Cedar Sovereign Wellness, and the "zero waste" philosophy of the Sovereign Kitchen program, will be a working model of sustainable and environmentally restorative living and cultural connection to land. By modeling environmentally respectful and restorative practices, we reinforce the Indigenous values of land stewardship and reciprocal relationship with the natural environment.
Through partnerships with Tulsa Public Schools' Indian Education Program, Intertribal Agriculture Council’s youth programs such as the Native Youth Food Sovereignty Alliance, and others, we will offer:
+ instructional camps
+ career exploration
+ collaborative meals
+ storytelling events
+ field trips with Indigenous knowledge keepers and experts in traditional food sourcing and preparation