photos by Mel Ponder and Chantel Baker
As an extension of the annual forum, NAN introduced a new series of Leadership Luncheons in 2020. The luncheons create opportunities for participants to network with fellow Native women and colleagues. Join us during your lunch hour, wear your Native earrings and bling, and hear from inspirational leaders working in our communities!
All events are free, and will be held online via Zoom.
Abigail Echo-Hawk, Director of Urban Indian Health Institute
May 15, 2020, 11:30am-1:00pm
Abigail Echo-Hawk, MA (Pawnee), was born in the heart of Alaska where she was raised with the traditional values of giving, respect for all, and love. As the Director of Urban Indian Health Institute and Chief Research Officer of Seattle Indian Health Board, Abigail works to engage community partners, conduct research and evaluation, and build capacity for Native organizations. In these roles, she also works to identify health research priorities and ensure research is done in a manner that respects tribal sovereignty and is culturally appropriate.
Hillel Echo-Hawk, Indigenous Chef and Owner of Birch Basket
June 18, 2020, 11:30am-1:00pm
Hillel Echo-Hawk (she/her; Pawnee and Athabaskan) is an Indigenous chef, caterer and speaker born and raised in the interior of Alaska around the Athabaskan village of Mentasta––home to the matriarchal chief and subsistence rights activist, Katie John. Watching John and other Indigenous Peoples’ fight for food sovereignty, as well as seeing her mother strive to make healthy, home-cooked meals for her and her six siblings, has given Hillel a unique and important perspective on diet and wellness. After receiving her degree in Culinary Arts from Seattle Central College, Echo-Hawk has been working as a cook in some of Seattle's most innovative and popular restaurants for several years.
As the owner of Birch Basket, her food and work has been featured in multiple national and international media sources; Including James Beard, Bon Appetit, Eater, Huffpost, National Geographic, PBS, Vogue, The Seattle Times, and many, many more. Hillel has spoken at various conferences on Indigenous food sovereignty and its intersections with social justice, colonialisms, and environmental injustice. She provides catering and private chef services, with menu’s consisting of pre-colonial, Indigenous ingredients, paired with both traditional and modern techniques, and the stories of the people and the land that the food tells.
Hillel has a passion for local, ethically sourced and sustainable foods, all through an Indigenous lens and perspective. Echo-Hawk is dedicated to the food sovereignty of Native peoples and is committed to empowering all Indigenous Peoples by increasing knowledge of an access to traditional diets and foods. It is her strong belief that food should feed not only the body, but the spirit of the entire community.
Hillel is a proud member of the I-Collective, an autonomous group of Indigenous chefs, activists, herbalists, seed, and knowledge keepers. Hillel is a sister, aunt, daughter, and active member of her community.