The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska’s Domestic Violence Program has put a call out to tribal members for recipes for a recipe book it is creating to help raise awareness of domestic violence and to remember the victims.
The program is seeking recipes for traditional dishes, perhaps a family favorite. Those who submit a recipe can dedicate it to a loved one who was a victim of domestic violence.
Native American women are seven times more likely to be victims of domestic violence than the general population, as reported by the U.S. DOJ, and one-third of all Native women will be raped in their lifetimes, according to a violence against women factsheet published by the National Congress of American Indians.
The Ponca Tribe’s recipe book project, supported by a grant from the Office of Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, is important to Tawna Luschen, a domestic violence outreach advocate for the tribe. She sees the book as more than an awareness-raising tool. She considers it cultural too. “It’s something these families will have in their homes for a long time,” she said.
Luschen envisions the book being spiral-bound, something she can put together in her own office (to save money), and featuring at least 30 recipes, a target she is far short of right now. “I would love to get as many traditional Native recipes as possible because I want to gear this cookbook towards Native traditions — what better way to help hand down your culture from one generation to another,” she said. The book will also include information and statistics on domestic violence.
Luschen plans to produce and distribute 100 to 150 copies, but more can be made on-demand. And while she wants to have the book completed before this October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Luschen is prepared to put it off until she has enough recipes.
Tawna Luschen can be reached via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org