Thursday, December 17th, 2020

A webinar panel discussion exploring Indigenous perspective on the uses of food as medicine, featuring:

  • Twila Cassadore (San Carlos Apache), Western Apache Diet Project
  • Nephi Craig, BHT, ACRPS, (White Mountain Apache), Native American Culinary Association
  • Moderated by Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot), Native American Agriculture Fund
  • Faith Spotted Eagle, MA (Yankton Sioux), Braveheart Society
  • Don Warne, MD, MPH (Oglala Lakota), University of North Dakota

Food As Medicine

Speaker Bios

Twila Cassadore (San Carlos Apache)

Twila Cassadore has been working with San Carlos Apache, White Mountain Apache, and Yavapai peoples for the past 25 years, conducting interviews with elders to bring information back into the community to address health and social problems. With the Western Apache Diet Project, Twila has documented the importance of foods like grass seeds and acorn seeds to the diets of Apaches before people were moved onto reservations and became reliant on rations, and later, commodities.

Nephi Craig, BHT, ACRPS (White Mountain Apache)

Chef Nephi Craig has 22 years of culinary experience in America and around the world in London, Germany, Brazil, and Japan. Nephi Craig is an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and is half Navajo. Chef Craig is also the founder of the Native American Culinary Association or NACA, an organization/network that is dedicated to the research, refinement, and development of Native American Cuisine. Chef Nephi Craig provides training, workshops, and lecture sessions on Native American Cuisine for health to schools, restaurants, universities, treatment centers, behavioral health agencies, and tribal entities from across America and abroad. Chef Craig recently served as Executive Chef of the Sunrise Park Resort Hotel. During Chef Craig’s nine-year tenure at Sunrise Park resort, Craig and his White Mountain Apache culinary team achieved many national and international benchmarks in establishing a culture of Indigenous Foods across North America. Executive Chef Nephi Craig is currently the Nutritional Recovery Program Coordinator & Executive Chef at the Rainbow Treatment Center and Café Gozhóó on the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona.

Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot)

Valerie Segrest, an enrolled member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, serves as the Native American Agriculture Fund’s Regional Director for Native Food and Knowledge Systems. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Health Sciences from Bastyr University and a Master of Arts in Environment and Community. Ms. Segrest has dedicated her work in the field of Native American Nutrition towards the efforts of the food sovereignty movement rooted in education, awareness and overcoming barriers to accessing traditional foods for tribal communities throughout North America. Ms. Segrest has co-authored several publications including the books “Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture” and “Feeding Seven Generations: A Salish Cookbook”. Valerie aims to inspire and enlighten others about the importance of a nutrient-dense diet through a culturally appropriate, common-sense approach to eating.

Faith Spotted Eagle, MA (Yankton Sioux)

Faith Spotted Eagle is a grandmother who lives on Ihanktonwan Dakota Territory (Yankton Sioux) in Southeastern South Dakota. She has a master’s degree in counseling, and has been a school principal, manager of Human Services Programs, and a PTSD Therapist for the Veteran’s Administration. She is a fluent speaker of the Dakota Language and a member of the Ihanktonwan, although she descends from the Sicangu, Hunpati, Hunkpapa, and Mdewakantonwan. She is a founding grandmother of the Brave Heart Society, supervised by a group of community grandmothers called the Unci Circle, which is dedicated to environmental justice and restoring endangered and lost cultural practices to heal the wounds endured by the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota peoples. Faith has been involved in grassroots work for decades and the Brave Heart Society has been instrumental in many areas, including battling for environmental justice within Native communities, healing survivors of sexual violence, and utilizing traditional spiritual ceremonies of the Oceti Sakowin to fight historical trauma. 

Donald Warne, MD, MPH (Oglala Lakota)

Dr. Donald Warne, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe in Pine Ridge, SD., is a director of Indians into Medicine; director of Master Public  Health, associate dean of Diversity, Equity and  Inclusion; and professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences. He earned his Doctorate of Medicine degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine and completed his residency training at the Good Samaritan Regional Medical center in Phoenix, AZ, and earned his Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University. Dr. Warne served several years as a primary care and integrative medicine physician with the Gila  River Health Care Corporation in Sacaton, AZ, and three years as staff clinician with the National Institutes of Health in Phoenix. During Dr.  Warne’s time in AZ, he conducted diabetes research and developed diabetes education and prevention programs in partnership with tribes.  Previously, he served as chair of the Department of Public Health at  North Dakota State University. He currently serves as adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Sanford/University of South Dakota Medical School and adjunct clinical professor at the  Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Indian legal Program at Arizona  State University. Dr. Warne is a member of the National Board of  Trustees for March of Dimes; the Health Disparities Subcommittee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the National  Advisory Committee for Rural Health and Human Services with the  Department of Health and Human Services.