These times call for comfort food, and I want to talk about my contribution to Legendary Games's Legendary Recipes. It's also about oppression and subjugation.
Now that I have your attention...First of all, it's my mom's recipe, and it's pretty much a go-to side dish to go when I make chile (or barbecue...hmm, I still have leftover brisket). It's ubiquitous at pow-wows, and my mom makes a lot of it when they are doing fundraisers or feeding the dancers that were performing.
As delicious as it is, it has a bloody past. Its ingredients are straightforward: flour, water, fat, leavening. But these ingredients were first provided to indigenous tribes as they were forced from their homelands onto reservations—places that often could not support the way of life that they were used to. New Mexico is not Arizona, Oklahoma is not the Carolinas. Here is white people food, you need to be white people now. Oh, you're not white enough. Well, we're going to take your kids and put them in boarding schools and beat their culture out of them. (The Indian Child Welfare Act wasn't enacted until 1978.) At some point, it became a symbol of perseverance and community (at least in my family history).
But it does come with the knowledge that it has a past of pain. And in these times, it does not do to go about ignorant.
(SorryNotSorry about this, but I am taking a composition class so it's good to get in this habit.)
- “Frybread.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 May 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frybread.
- Native American History and Culture: Boarding Schools, Northern Plains Reservation Aid, www.nativepartnership.org/site/PageServer?pagename=airc_hist_boardingschools.
- “About ICWA." NICWA, National Indian Child Welfare Association, 17 Jan. 2020, www.nicwa.org/about-icwa/.
- Tapia, Rafael. “National Homemade Bread Day and the History of Frybread " Native American / American Indian Blog by Partnership With Native Americans.” Native American / American Indian Blog by Partnership With Native Americans, Partnership with Native Americans, 12 Nov. 2019, blog.nativepartnership.org/national-homemade-bread-day-and-the-history-of-frybread/.
- Moya-Smith, Simon. “Native American Fry Bread Is the Food of Our Oppression. It's Also Delicious, so We're Reclaiming It.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 14 Oct. 2019, www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/native-american-fry-bread-food-our-oppression-it-s-also-ncna991591.