(KMSP) - A Twin Cities chef is returning to Standing Rock to help feed the hundreds of people protesting for Thanksgiving.
Brian Yazzie is of Navajo descent from Arizona. He's fighting for indigenous rights the only way he knows how, through his food.
"There are different positions on the front lines and mine will be in the kitchen," Yazzie said.
Last month, Yazzie, who's sous chef for The Sioux Chef catering company which focuses on Native American cuisine, spent a few days cooking for protesters at Standing Rock.
But what he found in the pantry wasn't the pre-colonial components he usually works with - no gluten, dairy, or processed sugar and all ingredients must be indigenous to North and South America.
So, he used donated meat, like smoked bison donated by native tribes, to create healthier meals for the demonstrators.
"It was a challenge. There was some stuff I had to use for the massive amount of people we had to feed," Yazzie said.
Now he's packing a U-Haul with a cornucopia of fresh ingredients, along with warm clothes and other supplies, to bring to Standing Rock for the Thanksgiving weekend.
"I have to be positive as in what my ancestors went through on that day. Their mindset and mentality was to feed people who are starving. That’s my mindset this week as I am feeding and volunteering for the people," Yazzie said.
Yazzie collected $35,000 in food donations. He leaves for North Dakota on Tuesday morning.
Yazzie said he is going back to the demonstration "to give the people on the front lines the strength and the warmth to continue to fight."