Tuesday, October 2, 2007


October 1st, 2007

From the Pine Ridge Reservation comes a product sure to be a treat, actually assist in the battle with diabetes and it was developed produced and marketed by one of our own. The Tanka Bar, the brain child of Native American Natural Foods a Native and owned and operated business, is a buffalo and berry snack bar that mimics Wasna a traditional Lakota food used during traditional ceremony’s and gatherings.   

It only makes sense that in order for us to combat diabetes is to return to the traditional foods we once thrived on before conquest. Poisons produced and marketed by corporate America, with the blessings of the FDA, fill the shelves of every store in America. Our people are beyond the point of distress as diabetes ravages our population. I just lost an aunt to diabetes and it’s surely not first my family member to die from this “civilized disease”. Who needs cholera infested blankets with corporate American is doing a fine job with the garbage they are feeding the population as a whole.  

Is it exploitive to target Indians? Well Hello Mac-Fly I dare not think so since it’s a NATIVE company who is addressing needs specific to us Natives by offering another source of nutritional intake other then the Killing Fields of Micky Dee’s and other processed poison. The Tanka Bar is a breath of fresh air and a wonderful alternative to the slop fed us by the outside world.  

This wonderfully Native food is sure to take hold as the world over embraces this new and innovative snack treat. And it behooves us as Native people to support Native American Natural Foods and their latest endeavor. Fact is there are many Native owned and operated companies that manufacture clothing, health care products and a wealth of other innovative products that address our issues and concerns as well. AND that green back does not end up lining the pockets of Wall Street the money goes back into the pockets of fellow Natives, for a change.  

It would be nice to see semi trucks brandishing a Nativelogo on the trailers as Native corporations get a foot hold in the world of commerce. Let us have a chance at the brass ring and taste the fruits of our labor, for a change.  

I venture to state it will be more a grass roots effort that gets the ball rolling since we have a steeper hill to climb. The Tanka Bar faces a world of national conglomerates that have gobbled up all the smaller companies and they don’t like new comers. But we as a consumers have a voice, sadly it’s the sound of the all mighty dollar. But it’s the only voice others know and respect. And yea know, we really need to put our money where our mouth is fore we can make a difference by promoting our people. 

By promoting our Native businesses we also build the communities surrounding these budding Native industries. We can stem the tide of poverty by providing work in places that never saw hope in the past.  

If we don’t support our people in the business world Big Brother Industries like Nike and others will simply steal our thunder as well as our heritage just to sell their wares.  

Before the time of conquest we had established trade routes from the tip of South America to the tip of Alaska. Commerce was not a new endeavor for us Native people. Only after conquest were we subjugated to reservations and borders that eventually separated the tribes of the America’s. The introduction of languages by the conquering people has further divided us into even more secular groups. Groups not of our design I might add. And this closed the doors to a once flourishing world of commerce within the Native world of the America’s. 

The Tanka Bar is not the cure all for all our social ills in life as a conquered people. But it’s a ray of hope as we begin to see that their just might be a sliver lining in the dark clouds that hung over our Indigenous Nations since conquest. We need champions and positive role models to inspire our youth and give them hope for the future. I was raised in a world with little to no hope for Natives back in the 50’s and I know of the many doors available for those who lost hope.  

October 5th is the date Tanka Bar will be unveiled at the 21st annual He Sapa Wacipi na Oskate (Black Hills Pow Wow) in Rapid City. So if you’re in the area it may be well worth stopping by and having a taste of the future. It might just be a 4 inch snack treat but it’s ours. 

Hu Ho! 


Read more of Carlos Guevara's on-top-of-it perspectives--commentary, interviews, poetry. Insightful, funny and never-ever a dull moment...:) Says Carole of NativeVue!

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