Alaska Native Traditional Foods Movement

Joanna Case: On behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Administration for Community Living, and the Indian Health Service, I would like to welcome everyone to the Long-Term Services and Supports Webinar Series.
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Joanna Case: My name is Joanna Case, and I work for Kauffman and Associates. I’ll be your moderator today. Today’s webinar is Alaska Native Traditional Foods Movement.
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Joanna Case: Before we begin, I’d like to highlight the main features of your Zoom webinar interface. First, the presentation slides are the main window, and the speakers will appear at the top, just above the presentation.
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Joanna Case: Simply click the CC icon from your bottom menu bar to use this feature. Finally, please be aware that today’s webinar is being recorded and that the recording will be made available online in the near future on cms.gov.
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Joanna Case: If you’d like a copy of the slides sent to you directly, please email LTSSinfo@Kauffmaninc.com.
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Joanna Case: With those announcements made, I’d like to welcome everyone to today’s webinar.
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Joanna Case: Please note, this webinar series is supported by a contract awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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Joanna Case: The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the official position
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Joanna Case: or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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Joanna Case: I’d like to introduce our speakers.

Melissa Chlupach is an Assistant Professor for Diabetics and Nutrition at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.
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Joanna Case: Flora Deacon is an Indigenous chef and instructor, and Thomas Moore is a communication specialist at the UAA National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders. Thank you all for joining us today. Melissa, please go ahead.
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Melissa Chlupach: Thank you so much, and thank you for allowing us to be a part of National Nutrition Month, presenting on the Alaska Native Traditional Foods Movement. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Thanks. And so, we are going to take you on a journey to Alaska. And if we could go back to the previous slide, as you’ll see, Alaska is…
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Melissa Chlupach: Contrary to what some maps show, Alaska is actually between Russia and Canada.

It’s not next to Hawaii, Mexico, or California. So, as we continue our journey to the next slide,
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Melissa Chlupach: you can see that Alaska has a very limited road system. And so, most of the goods are
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Melissa Chlupach: transported via plane or even barge. And you can see that many of these villages are way out there and very much in rural Alaska. And some of these barges only make it there twice a year. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: For our villages, many of them have grocery stores. Some of the larger villages, like Kotzebue,
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Melissa Chlupach: has an ACC store or Alaska Commercial Company, which is a little bit larger store.

And they have a little over 3,000 people in Kotzebue. And then Dillingham has the N&N Market,
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Melissa Chlupach: which they have a little over 2,000 people living there. But the smaller villages – around 2 to 300. They have much smaller grocery stores. In fact, more like trading posts, where it’s… Everything’s there. Where you would purchase everything. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And, of course, those freight costs go to the consumer. And, as you can see, the prices in rural Alaska are astronomical. We think they’re expensive in Anchorage, but out in rural Alaska, they’re crazy.

A four pack of Dole fruit cups is almost $7.
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Melissa Chlupach: A gallon of milk is almost $10. Even lactose free milk is almost $10. A head of lettuce is about $6. And if we’re talking about watermelon, about half one –
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Melissa Chlupach: Half of a watermelon – it can be almost $60 out in Utqiagvik, northern Alaska. So, it’s quite expensive.
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Melissa Chlupach: And although we do encourage breastfeeding, you know, breast milk is the baby’s first traditional food, right? Some moms do use formula and, as you can see in that lower left picture, just a regular can of Similac
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Melissa Chlupach: is about $30.50. But there are villages that try to grow their local produce. And you can see that there in Kotzebue. But gas prices, $5 to $10. So, using modern methods of even harvesting traditional foods can be quite expensive. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: But we still encourage the nutrient-dense traditional foods.

They are part of the culture. They are comforting. They are healing. They are home. And they improve the quality of life of our people. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Now, I want you to close your eyes and imagine yourself consuming your food, your cultural food, your traditional food. I want you to smell that food and taste it.
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Melissa Chlupach: Where are you at when you’re smelling your food and tasting your food, and who were you with?
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Melissa Chlupach: I can smell all these wonderful foods right now, and it makes me hungry.
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Melissa Chlupach: Are you with your auntie?
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Melissa Chlupach: And did you harvest these foods yourself? And who were you with? Were you with your children? And where are you picking berries? One berry in the bucket, one berry for me, two berries in the bucket, and two berries for me.
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Melissa Chlupach: And as you eat your food, I want you to open your eyes and feel that comfort, that warmth that those foods bring to you.

And go to the next slide.
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Melissa Chlupach: And think.
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Melissa Chlupach: Can these foods be on a health care menu or even a long-term care menu? Would I be able to get these foods? Would an elder be able to get these foods?
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Melissa Chlupach: Next slide.
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Melissa Chlupach: And just imagine your surprise when you would see these foods on a health care menu. Just overwhelmed with happiness. And you can feel the healing happening right then and there, knowing your foods are going to heal you.
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Melissa Chlupach: So, how do we do this in a health care setting or even a long-term care facility? Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Well, there are regulations.

And I know, ugh, regulations, more regulations, right?
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Melissa Chlupach: But we are talking about serving vulnerable people, immune-compromised populations in hospitals and long-term care facilities. So, it’s important that the foods that are donated are safe and we serve safe foods. So, there are some regulations around this. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has included verbiage about donating traditional foods in their food code for years, well over a decade. And this includes donating wild game, seafood, and plants, berries.
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Melissa Chlupach: Now there are some stipulations.

The food must be whole, gutted, gilled, as quarters or as roasts, without further processing.
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Melissa Chlupach: And that’s to minimize cross contamination – getting all of that bacteria in there, right. In addition to this, the animal cannot be diseased
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Melissa Chlupach: and there are some prohibited foods. And one of the most highly requested foods is seal oil, and that is a prohibited food item. But I will talk about that a little bit later. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Now the federal government finally got the picture in 2014 and included verbiage about donating traditional foods and service of traditional foods and public facilities, and included it in the 2014 Farm Bill.
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Melissa Chlupach: In fact, this verbiage is very similar to the Alaska Food Code. And the Alaska Food Code served as a guide for the Farm Bill verbiage. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Now, the 2018 Farm Bill, it doesn’t include the traditional foods verbiage that the 2014 Farm Bill has, but that’s okay.
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Melissa Chlupach: That verbiage is in the US Code Title 25, right.

And my understanding is it would take an act of Congress for that
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Melissa Chlupach: verbiage to go away. And to tell you the truth, I think Congress is a little busy doing other things right now. So, that traditional foods verbiage will be there for a long time. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Now, not everyone reads the Farm Bill or reads a food code, right. So, a variety of us, or several organizations collaborated and put together a toolkit and some posters helping folks
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Melissa Chlupach: easily understand what they can donate and what they can’t donate and how to store food and prepare food and process food.

And these are definitely, as you can see, eye-catching resources. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: So, I am so excited to share champions in health care and long-term care. But let’s start with health care first. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: The Alaska Native Medical Center Food and Nutrition Services team has looked at various ways to implement traditional foods into the patient menu. And I worked at ANMC and Food Services for a number of years, and
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Melissa Chlupach: I had several traditional foods on the menu. But it wasn’t until Executive Chef Amy Foote came on board, where she – after the Farm Bill verbiage was created – where she made my dreams come true.

And she
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Melissa Chlupach: lives, eats, and breathes all of this. And I consider her one of my dearest friends and colleagues. And just a heart of gold, and she has made… She has increased
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Melissa Chlupach: the number of traditional foods on the menu from around 30% to between 60 and 70% traditional foods. And she has looked at vendors and donations and harvesting and has collaborated with the Alaska Pacific University Spring Creek Farm, as well. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And the team has thought outside of the box to serve a menu of tradition at ANMC. Looking at harvesting, being on the list for the Alaska Moose Salvage Program,
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Melissa Chlupach: also known as the Roadkill List. And they’ve been on the list for a long time. And for the first time ever, this winter, they received their first moose from the Salvage Program.
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Melissa Chlupach: And Chef Amy has worked tirelessly and developed a rapport with the Alaska Professional Hunter Association. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: She’s even worked with her vendors. Now, donations aren’t coming into the door, through the door every single day.

They’re seasonal, right. And of course, COVID has put a damper on a lot of this.
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Melissa Chlupach: But she’s worked with her reps and developed ways on getting these traditional foods. In fact, many processing facilities were throwing out fish heads and bones and fish bellies.
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Melissa Chlupach: I know, right? These are extremely nutritious foods. Why are they throwing… Why is this waste? Well, not anymore. Chef Amy is getting those fish heads, getting those fish bellies and bones to have nutrient-dense foods on the menu. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Now, these donations are coming from all over Alaska. So, you can see the sense of community and helping provide traditional foods to the patients at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And from 2014 to 2000, or 2020, over 10 tons of traditional foods have been donated to the Alaska Native Medical Center. Over 10 tons. Isn’t that amazing? Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: So, moose, caribou, deer meat. And, as you can see on the picture on the right, that is from the Alaska, that moose quarter, is from the Alaska Professional Hunter Association.

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Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Herring eggs. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Seal meat. And ANMC is the only facility offering seal meat to their patients. And this gentleman right here, this is Martin Sensmeier from Yakutat, and he delivered an amazing speech and blessing at our first seal meat ceremony.
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Melissa Chlupach: And he said – we were all in tears – he said, “I have been waiting 30 years for this to happen.” Pretty amazing, huh. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Donations of wild Alaska king salmon. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Even fiddle head ferns and beach asparagus. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And COVID, like I said, has put a damper on a lot.

So, they’ve gotten really creative at ANMC, creating Traditional Tuesday and Fishy Friday and – for those who have a sweet tooth – Sweet Treats Saturday, with some local fair, as well. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Now, let’s take a look at a champion for long-term care in Alaska. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Utuqqanaat Inaat (a Place for Elders) opened in October 2011.
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Melissa Chlupach: Maniilaq Association opened this 18-bed long-term care facility in Kotzebue, which is in northwestern Alaska.

Prior to this, they had a senior care facility.
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Melissa Chlupach: So, they could offer whatever they wanted on their menu. There weren’t… There aren’t a lot of regulations and restrictions in a senior care facility; however, when you move to a long-term care facility,
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Melissa Chlupach: there are a lot more restrictions and regulations. And they do get visits from CMS. The elders really wanted their traditional foods back on their menu, and to get it
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Melissa Chlupach: served on a more regular basis.

So, Maniilaq works very hard, did a lot of legwork, spoke with the Alaska DEC, and even spoke with CMS surveyors on how they could offer traditional foods to their elders.
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Melissa Chlupach: They already had a Maniilaq Hunter Support Program, which Cyrus Harris, pictured here dressing out this caribou, ran. Well, they said that, let the tundra be considered as the elders garden. Any kitchen with a DEC permit can receive traditional game directly. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And so, the Siglauq look was born. And this is an Inupiaq name, meaning ice cellar or cold storage.
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Melissa Chlupach: Maniilaq remodeled and existing building to create the first-ever traditional foods processing facility.

And the first donation actually came from
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Melissa Chlupach: the wildlife troopers when they confiscated a poached musk ox. And they received 200 pounds of musk ox, which was their first offering on the menu. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And here, we have some pictures of the Siglauq and the grand opening. And here, pictured, is Cyrus Harris – also has a heart of gold, much like Chef Amy – and he is holding up the processed musk ox. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Now, there are many food assistance programs in Alaska. Next. And the Food Bank of Alaska recognizes the need for traditional food donations, as well.
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Melissa Chlupach: In fact, they said that, during COVID, food assistance has increased by 75%, and they have the Help Meet the Need program where they welcome gifts of moose, caribou, deer, and sheep, as well as salmon and halibut.

Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: In addition to this, Anchorage has a food kitchen called Beans Cafe where they help feed the needy. And they serve 2,300 meals a day. Over half of their patrons served are Alaska Native, many of whom
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Melissa Chlupach: are elders. They rely on food donations. And so, in the beginning of 2020, I received a federal grant on developing more of a traditional foods program at Beans Cafe.
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Melissa Chlupach: Unfortunately, COVID happened. And so, that definitely put a damper on things and stopped my little venture to creating this program. But once things start settling down more, I will work again with Beans Cafe and getting more donations of traditional foods. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Now, I told you I’d talk about seal oil, which is Alaska’s condiment. Next. And, as I said before, this is a prohibited food item on the Alaska Food Code.
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Melissa Chlupach: mainly because it has a bad rap with botulism.

Alaska has the highest rate of botulism in the United States.
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Melissa Chlupach: Well, this is a highly regarded traditional food among many Alaska Natives, specifically the coastal Alaska Natives.
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Melissa Chlupach: Maniilaq developed a Seal Oil Project and worked with local researchers and even a botulism research at the University of Wisconsin. They wanted to serve seal oil to their elders at Utuqqanaat Inaat. Do you think the state supported this venture?
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Melissa Chlupach: I think some of you are shaking your head no.

But in actuality, yes, the state was supporting this project. And it took many years and many tests.
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Melissa Chlupach: And they looked at pH and added some lactic acid to the seal oil to work on the pH, but the lactic acid changed the look of the seal oil and even the taste, so that didn’t work. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Next, they tried heat treating the seal oil, did blind taste tests, and it tasted the same or, well, actually, some people thought it tasted better than before. And it looked similar, as well. And it was safe. So, with all of this research and the heat processing,
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Melissa Chlupach: Maniilaq developed a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Plan, a HACCP Plan, for the seal oil and worked on a variance with the state of Alaska,
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Melissa Chlupach: and we have it.

Maniilaq is now able to serve seal oil to the long-term care residents at Utuqqanaat Inaat.
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Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And now, I’m going to turn it over to Chef Flora talking about new ways to prepare traditional foods.
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Flora Deacon: Hello. Thank you for having me. So today, I wanted to talk about…
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Flora Deacon: it’s a different way of serving traditional food. But, before I begin, I want to introduce myself. My name is Flora Deacon. I am originally from Grayling Shageluk area.
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Flora Deacon: And I am a trained chef.

I went to culinary school at New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, and I also have an interdisciplinary degree in rural nutrition from UAF. And
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Flora Deacon: I have worked all over the state of Alaska and three seasons in Antarctica. And throughout my travels, I saw that, in my experience, that there were so many people that had not a clue how to prepare food.
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Flora Deacon: And
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Flora Deacon: I got a couple of requests for people, from people to follow them around because they needed a cook.

And also in my
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Flora Deacon: cooking in these camps… I cooked in a lot of mining camps. And as a chef, our main objective is to work really hard to make food taste good and to look good and all of that. And I started to experience
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Flora Deacon: some people would tell me, “I can’t stop eating, because the food is good.” And as time went on, I started to realize I didn’t want to be a part of this,
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Flora Deacon: making people overweight.

And so, I decided I really wanted to teach cooking instead of cooking for people. And so, it’s been a… it’s been a really interesting
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Flora Deacon: time already for me. Because of COVID, everything kind of slow down. But what I wanted to do is introduce different ways of using traditional food. And why not use…
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Flora Deacon: Why not make condiments, because Melissa was talking about condiments earlier. So, next.
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Flora Deacon: So, here we have the highbush cranberry.
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Flora Deacon: And that pretty much grows all over the state next.
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Flora Deacon: It’s a shrub, and its leaves turn red in the fall, and the berries can be picked from July to September, but you can pick it earlier.
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Flora Deacon: You would just have to be really watchful when the berries just start to turn red, then you can pick them, and they would keep your jelly a red color.
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Flora Deacon: But then it would also have the pectin that you need.

Otherwise, it’s really hard to make highbush cranberry jelly, otherwise. Because once it turns red, there is no more pectin.
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Flora Deacon: And so the pulp, or the juice, once you take the seed out and the skin, you can make it into jams, jellies, or sauces in this case. Next.
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Flora Deacon: So here, you can see the cranberries are cooking in apple cider vinegar. And
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Flora Deacon: so, I’m reducing it by half, in fact. So, it’s going to be cooking for at least
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Flora Deacon: 20, 30 minutes.

And it’s best if you use your stove ventilator because, when you’re cooking vinegar, it will, your entire house will smell like vinegar.
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Flora Deacon: And it doesn’t take that long to reduce by half. So, just be really watchful. And you can use three different methods to take the pit out of the cranberry.
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Flora Deacon: And you can use cheesecloth, strainer, but here I have a food mill. And that works, probably, the best way. And they do sell different sizes, and I have the smallest one. But they have a pretty big size
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Flora Deacon: food mill that you can buy. And then, after all the pulp gets taken out, the discarded pulp can be composted. And, as you can see, I’ve listed the vitamins that are in per-half-cup serving, which is very good. The…
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Flora Deacon: Next.
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Flora Deacon: So, you can see the pulp. It’s very pretty. It’s dark red.

And here, it’s all ready for the barbecue ingredients because I’m going to be making a barbecue sauce with the pulp.
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Flora Deacon: Highbush cranberries are extremely high for antioxidants. And I have a score 174, but that could change the more processed it becomes,
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Flora Deacon: especially if you’re making it into jams and jellies. And, in this case, we’re making barbecue sauce, so that score could change a little bit, but not by much. It’s still higher than commercially grown berries or the berries that you buy in the store. Next.
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Flora Deacon: And the ingredients, as you can see, they’re diced really small because, once you add them to the pulp, it doesn’t really change its shape.
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Flora Deacon: So, you want to dice it as small as possible.

pexels photo 8908107

And the more surface area, which means the smaller the pieces, the more flavor. So,
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Flora Deacon: you can always finish the sauce later. You can put it in a blender to smooth it out. You can use a food processor, or you can use an immersion blender. I usually use an immersion blender. I like that better.
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Flora Deacon: And then the garlic. You’re using an entire head of garlic. And my motto is you can never go wrong with too much garlic.
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Flora Deacon: It does seem like a lot, you know, an entire head.

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But it adds this tremendous flavor to the sauce. And you should mince it as finally as possible.
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Flora Deacon: And the minced jalapenos should also be minced as finally as possible. I didn’t, in this recipe, I didn’t leave any jalapeno seeds in there, because that’s where the heat is.
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Flora Deacon: You can leave some seeds in there. But just remember, you’re reducing it again. And when you reduce a sauce, you’re condensing the flavors, and you’re making it stronger.
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Flora Deacon: Next.
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Flora Deacon: So, we have spices, the ground clove, cinnamon, all spice, black pepper. And each of these spices… Well, the recipe asks for a tablespoon and a half of each spice, which is roughly four and a half teaspoons.

And it may seem like a lot,
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Flora Deacon: but please do not reduce it because this barbecue sauce will go a long way. It will stand up to moose, to caribou, to bison, to beaver, to puffin.
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Flora Deacon: And it is an amazing sauce. And down below, you’ll see I have three different sugars. There’s molasses, dark brown sugar, honey.
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Flora Deacon: And I actually reduced it by half. So, the recipe that you will see…
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Flora Deacon: Or if you ask for it, I will send it to you.
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Flora Deacon: It is actually way less than the original recipe. And here, I’m using liquid aminos, which is an all-purpose seasoning. It’s all together more healthy
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Flora Deacon: than soy or Worchester’s. However, if you don’t have liquid aminos, you can use the soy or the Worchester’s, but just be aware of the high sodium content.
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Flora Deacon: Next.
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Flora Deacon: So, I wanted to…
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Flora Deacon: The sauce, in respect to the bison, which were relocated to the Anvik Grayling Shageluk area in 2015.
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Flora Deacon: There hasn’t been a harvest yet.
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Flora Deacon: But hopefully, in the next few years.

And these pictures were taken by joy Hamilton who lives in Shageluk. And so, this sauce would really compliment anything with bison or moose.
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Flora Deacon: Next.
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Flora Deacon: So, I wanted to thank you again. And I’ll turn it over to Thomas.
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Thomas Moore: Alright. Yeah. I’m Thomas. I’m the communication specialist for the National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders. Next slide.
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Thomas Moore: That’s Flora’s last slide I think. There. A little bit mixed up. Next one. Yeah, so a little bit about the NRC.
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Thomas Moore: Our mission is to help Alaska Native elders live fully in their community of choice.
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Thomas Moore: And also age positively. So, we have a library of resources dedicated to that purpose. And
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Thomas Moore: we also are dedicated to getting those resources into the hands of the people who need them. So our audience are elders themselves, families of elders, and caregivers – whether that’s in home caregiving, hospitals, long-term care facilities.

Things like that.
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Thomas Moore: And it’s important for us to make sure that all of our resources are accessible.
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Thomas Moore: And that means both easy to understand, easy to access and get, but also actually ADA-compliant so that people with disabilities on can access them just as easily. Next slide.
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Thomas Moore: So, a little bit about the process of our resource development. I specialize in digital media, so I do videos. We have podcasts and infographics, and we’re always trying to come up with new ways to disseminate these resources and be creative and get them into the hands of people in new ways.
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Thomas Moore: And in the process of developing them, we always make sure that we’re being culturally sensitive and utilizing traditional knowledge when we can, as well as knowledge from experts in the community and faculty research next.
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Thomas Moore: So, now to our food portion of our website.

We titled it the Alaska Traditional Kitchen.
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Thomas Moore: And the idea was to create recipe packages, sort of like a digital cookbook in a way.
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Thomas Moore: So, you have, you know, your basic…your background, your recipe. And now I think I’m going to share my screen here, so I can actually take you through our website.
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Thomas Moore: Can you guys see that? Melissa?
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Thomas Moore: Okay, this is our landing page. It’s housed on the UAA website. It’s
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Thomas Moore: under the National Resource Center for Alaska Native Elders.

So, if you scroll down here, you’ll see this little button, which takes you to our Alaska Traditional Kitchen page.
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Thomas Moore: And here, we have a little bit of an introduction on what this site is and a little bit about Flora. And below that, we have a podcast episode that I did with Flora that’s just kind of introducing her, talking about her career, her relationship with food.
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Thomas Moore: And then, above that, we have these buttons where you can click,
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Thomas Moore: and it takes us to the Recipe page. So, we start out with the banner image of the salmon cakes up here, and a little bit of background information that was written by Flora.
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Thomas Moore: And keep scrolling, and we have some more of the, you know, scientific stuff – nutrition facts, why this food is good for you.
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Thomas Moore: Keep scrolling down, and we have the resources that I worked on. And I’ll play a short…a couple seconds of this video just to give you an idea.
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Thomas Moore: [Flora on video] “So today, we’re going to have salmon cakes.”
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Thomas Moore: [Flora on video] “And I’m just going to do the salmon, which is in the can, and it’s about 15 ounces.” [Thomas Moore] So, there’s Flora.
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Thomas Moore: We filmed a couple of those last summer, and it was a lot of fun.
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Thomas Moore: The idea with the videos is
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Thomas Moore: to teach you how to make the food.

So, you know, if you’re wanting to incorporate these foods, these recipes into your meal plans or feed into your grandma or your mom or your parents, but you don’t know how,
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Thomas Moore: you can come to our website and watch these videos and hopefully learn how to make them.
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Thomas Moore: Next to that we have a podcast, which is just a chat before talking more specifically about the ingredient of salmon and her relationship with it, why it’s healthy, and why it’s a traditional food.
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Thomas Moore: Scrolling down, here’s the actual text recipe if you just need a quick, you know, want to just look at the recipe and figure it out on your own.

You can also print this out, right here
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Thomas Moore: as a Word document. And then we also have an infographic.
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Thomas Moore: It’s a little bit more of aesthetically pleasing recipe. So you can you know print this out, laminate it, put it up in your kitchen or wherever you keep your recipes.
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And then,
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Thomas Moore: if we go back to the page here, it’s the same kind of layout for each recipe that we have. And I think we’re hopefully going to be able to make some more recipes soon. So this page will be growing.
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Thomas Moore: Okay, go back to my slide.

I’ll stop sharing.
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Thomas Moore: Next slide.
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Thomas Moore: So, from here,
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Thomas Moore: we’re really focused on developing our website further. And in the process of doing that we’re also trying to increase the awareness of NRC on social media – Instagram, Facebook –
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Thomas Moore: because that’s really,
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Thomas Moore: I think, one of the best ways to get these resources into the hands of as many people as we can as possible in the state of Alaska, but also elsewhere.
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Thomas Moore: So, by doing that, our goal is to drive people to our website.

And we’re working to expand it and delve into new topics related to elder care. So, we’re working on an elder abuse module, and then moving on down the line to memory, dementia.
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Thomas Moore: And we’re really trying to build these sort of pillars, so that people can come to our website, and, you know, if they’re looking for information on traditional foods they can go to this site. And then,
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Thomas Moore: maybe they need something on memory or dementia, they can go to another page. So, we really want to have these sort of modules that are
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Thomas Moore: consistent in their look and their layout
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Thomas Moore: and
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Thomas Moore: just make it so the website is really easily scalable, so it can be
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Thomas Moore: built up.

And the ultimate goal being to have a back catalogue of resources
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Thomas Moore: that people can access. So, that’s it for me. I’ll kick it back to Melissa. Thank you.
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Melissa Chlupach: Thanks, Thomas. So, we’ve talked about what champions like ANMC and Maniilaq are doing with the Alaska Native Traditional Foods Movement. And Flora, oh my gosh, my mouth is watering.
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Melissa Chlupach: She talks about new ways to incorporate traditional foods. And Thomas, being the communication specialist and website brainiac that he is… Look at those amazing resources.
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Melissa Chlupach: Well, guess what. You can do this, too.

We are here to support you, and that’s the first step in creating your own community movement. It doesn’t have to be big. You can start off small with small goals, so you can have these small successes to reach that even bigger goal. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And we’ve utilized a number of resources for this movement. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: Such as the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Traditional Food Guide, which is definitely in my library and actually one of my textbooks for one of my courses; the Store Outside Your Door webisodes.

Amazing. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And several resources from southeast Alaska. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And even the Inuit Circumpolar Council. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And we even have used national resources, such as the CDC resources and even First Nations Canada resources. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: But the most important resources that we have are our elders. They have the traditional knowledge.

They have the stories. And when you put all of that together,
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Melissa Chlupach: we could just sit there for hours and take it all in. And that’s how we learn the best and how we can have successful movements, such as the Alaska Native Traditional Foods Movement. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: So we’d like to finish off with this beautiful quote from Frank Wright in Hoonah, Alaska. And this quote came from the Traditional Food Guide for Alaska Native Cancer Survivors.
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Melissa Chlupach: “Happiness is healing. Elders need to taste the food they’ve grown up on, so they can feel good about themselves again.”
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Melissa Chlupach: “It’s a healing thing.”
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Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: So, we’d like to thank you for bringing us into your homes, into your workspaces and especially during National Nutrition Month. And, of course, since I’m a dietician, I’m nerding out over all of this. But thank you so much for welcoming us. Next.
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Melissa Chlupach: And here is our contact information if you’d like to contact us directly.

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And don’t forget, you can always hashtag traditional foods heal and traditional…hashtag traditional foods heal our patients. So, thank you again.
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Joanna Case: Thank you so much to our presenters. So, this is our time for questions, and if you have not entered one yet and you have one, go ahead and put it into the Q&A box. You can also put it into the chat if that’s easier.
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Joanna Case: And we will look through them, and we’ll ask these questions for the presenters. Our first question that has come in is, “What are some of the other traditional foods that are nutrient dense?” And this one is for Flora and/or Melissa.
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Melissa Chlupach: Flora, do you want me to tackle that first, or do you want to?
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Flora Deacon: Sure, go ahead, Melissa.
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Melissa Chlupach: Alright, so again, I use my resources, such as the Alaska Traditional Food Guide. And then, this one, Qaqamiiĝux̂, comes from the Aleutian Pribilof
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Melissa Chlupach: Islands Association.

And traditional foods, all the way around, are nutrient dense. And seal oil is an excellent source of omega three fatty acids.
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Melissa Chlupach: Salmon – full of protein and full of omega threes, as well. And did you know that three ounces of seal meat has about 80% of the daily value of iron.
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Melissa Chlupach: Crazy, right? So that would take – and I’m going to refer to Qaqamiiĝux̂. That would that’s about 25 ounces of beef pot roast, 24 hot dogs, 68 chicken nuggets.
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Melissa Chlupach: All for three ounces of seal meat. And also, wild Alaska blueberries have more antioxidants – and this has been researched – more antioxidants than cultivated blueberries. So full of goodness, and thank goodness, because those are one of my favorite berries.
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Melissa Chlupach: Flora, anything to add.
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Flora Deacon: I just have to agree with you.
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Flora Deacon: Yeah, it’s true.
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Joanna Case: Thank you both.

Okay, so another question that’s come in is for Flora. “Do you have a cookbook, and if you do, how do we get it?” And the second part of that is, “Do you have any fireweed recipes? They’re interested in making fireweed ice cream.”
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Flora Deacon: Wow. No. I don’t have a cookbook.
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Flora Deacon: The fireweed, I am just starting to get to know, because it was told to me by an elder that you should try to get to know a plant for at least a year or maybe more before you start working with it. So, this is my second or third year with
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Flora Deacon: fireweed. So, what I started to do, I tried to test out the fireweed in cooking, and I realized you cannot cook fireweed.
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Flora Deacon: It just will not work, it becomes… You can’t even recognize that it is fireweed.

And then also it starts, it releases something in there kind of metallic tasting.
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Flora Deacon: So, the best thing I thought is you can serve it and salad, or you can pickle it. And those are probably the two best ways for fireweed.
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Flora Deacon: Thank you.
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Joanna Case: Thank you, Flora. Okay, there’s another question, and just probably for Melissa or maybe Thomas. “How do you reach those individuals that have no access to the Internet?”
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Thomas Moore: That’s a great question. Yeah. There’s a lot of
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Thomas Moore: villages in Alaska that,
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Thomas Moore: you know, don’t have Internet or have very limited Internet. And that’s something that we’re trying to address at the NRC. It’s definitely on our radar.
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Thomas Moore: That’s one of the ideas with the infographics,
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Thomas Moore: so that people can print them out and then
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Thomas Moore: have them physically.

And we are trying to come up with a way to
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Thomas Moore: have a print campaign.
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Thomas Moore: I’m working on some posters on elder abuse, and
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Thomas Moore: our hope is to
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Thomas Moore: print some of those out and then get them into
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Thomas Moore: care facilities and other locations and
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Thomas Moore: across the state.
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Thomas Moore: So yeah, that’s definitely something that we’re working on because, right, not everybody has good Internet, and
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Thomas Moore: it’s good to be aware of that.

So, thanks for the question.
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Joanna Case: Thank you, Thomas. Okay, this one, I’m not sure who would tackle this. But I’ll just go ahead and pose it. The question is, “This Alaska Native Medical Center, is it like the Indian Health Service?”
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Melissa Chlupach: I’ll tackle that unless Flora or Thomas want to tackle it. But the Alaska Native Medical Center is owned and jointly run by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Southcentral Foundation.
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Melissa Chlupach: It’s a 173-bed hospital, and serves all of, obviously, Alaska. And in Alaska, we have 229 federally recognized tribes. So, it serves all of those tribes, as well as those who move from out of state
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Melissa Chlupach: to Alaska.
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Melissa Chlupach: So, it’s not an Indian Health Service facility.

It’s run… We’ve taken over our own health care and ANTHC and SCF run the facility.
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Melissa Chlupach: It is, however, on federal Land, so it is not, in terms of food services, it’s not inspected by the municipality of Anchorage or the state of Alaska. So, it would be a federal inspection, and it does get inspected by a joint commission and by CMS. Does that answer your question?
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Joanna Case: We’ll see if any follow-up questions come through. I can go ahead and move on though. The next one is for Flora. “Do you find using traditional food with newer products to be a good idea? For example, using spaghetti squash with a marinara sauce.”
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Flora Deacon: Sure. I think just using vegetables in general is a good idea.
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Flora Deacon: And sure, vegetables and fruit, we need me to eat more of them.
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Flora Deacon: Thank you.
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Joanna Case: Great. Okay, and the next one is, “Does ANMC receive IHS funding?”
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Melissa Chlupach: That’s a good question. I believe they do.
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Melissa Chlupach: I don’t… I no longer work at ANMC, but I believe they do.

In terms of amount of funding. I’m not quite sure.
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Melissa Chlupach: Sorry, Tammy.
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Joanna Case: Okay, and the next one is probably for Melissa, but maybe Thomas, as well, or Flora. “Do you have a template for getting a traditional foods program started?”
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Melissa Chlupach: I actually had a slide when we were putting these together and took it out, so I apologize for taking that out now.
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Melissa Chlupach: I.
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Melissa Chlupach: The biggest, the first thing I recommend, and I think Chef Amy, if she’s listening, would say the same thing, is to get the support around you.

Get your organization’s support. And, yes, in some places, it will take a lot of leg work, for whatever reason, to get that support.
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Melissa Chlupach: And you want to take a look at your facility, what your kitchen has in terms of equipment, what type of menu you want. Talk to your…
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Melissa Chlupach: the folks that you’re serving. What do they want on the menu? And develop a HACCP plan, a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Plan, so that you serve safe foods.
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Melissa Chlupach: And have those… Definitely cross your t’s and dot your i’s, and have those worksheets, spreadsheets so that you document those traditional foods coming in, who they’re from.

Like, for instance, all of the proteins that we receive,
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Melissa Chlupach: we have, the state of Alaska has a form. It’s a possession hunter transfer possession form that we fill out and it documents who it came from, where, and the amount, so that, in case something happens, we have the documentation.
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Melissa Chlupach: So, please, here’s my email address. And my phone numbers are right there. We can talk about it more if you have more questions about it, but again, it is important.
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Thomas Moore: I’ll piggyback off a little bit on
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Thomas Moore: in my perspective.

As far as
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Thomas Moore: starting up a whole movement, I don’t think I can really talk about that. But I came into the NRC with very little knowledge on elder care and traditional foods, so I was in a unique perspective to
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Thomas Moore: listen to Melissa and Flora and take their words and get it out to people. So, for me, it was just kind of thinking about the basic questions of what are the limitations for people
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Thomas Moore: and how to incorporate these recipes.

So, I just started thinking, you know, some people might just not know how to cook at all.
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Thomas Moore: And I was a fan of, you know, recipe cooking videos on YouTube and stuff, so I just sort of made that connection and thought, let’s make a series of how to make these recipes.
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Thomas Moore: And also, I think it’s really important to just utilize the tools the free tools that are available, especially.
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Thomas Moore: Like social media is really powerful.

You can use Facebook to get information out to people and really easily, and it’s completely free.
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Thomas Moore: And you can use it to tell stories, and people really like reading and seeing things like that.
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Thomas Moore: So, yeah that’s my little take on it.
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Yeah.
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Thomas Moore: Thank you so much. Okay.
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Joanna Case: I don’t see any other questions. We are going to put Melissa and Flora’s email in the chat,. And then Thomas, if you’re okay with it, as well, if you could put your email in.
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Joanna Case: And if you have any questions about wanting recipes or any other follow ups, you can reach out to them via email.

So, I’d like to go ahead and thank
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Joanna Case: Melissa, Flora, and Thomas for joining us today and sharing these resources on Native foods.
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Joanna Case: In closing, I’d like to remind everyone that today’s webinar was recorded, and that the audio and presentation slides will be made available online at cms.gov on the tribal LTSS Technical Assistance Center website. Thank you again for joining today’s webinar. Our session is now concluded..

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