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David Treuer

David Treuer is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, two Minnesota Book Awards, and fellowships from the NEH, the Bush Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is the author of four novels: Little (Picador, 1995), The Hiawatha (Picador, 1999), The Translation of Dr. Apelles (Vintage, 2012), and Prudence (Riverhead, 2015), as well as a work of nonfiction, Rez Life (Grove, 2012). His essays and stories have appeared in publications including Granta, Harper’s, and the New York Times


Art by Cheyenne Randall

Resistance Training in Indian Country

Winter 2018 | Essays

Sean Sherman, the Sioux Chef, is sitting across from me at the restaurant Jefe, in Minneapolis. He is not eating as I imagine a chef would eat. He does not seem to be sampling and weighing and evaluating, appreciating his food the way a musician might listen to a score. Rather, he eats as though this is both his first and last meal. His eyes are a little vacant. The food goes in fast and is gone. The food (Mexican) is awesome, and so is the restaurant. (Jefe is not his restaurant, but he is friends with the chef.) Sean is solidly built, substantial. His hair is long and tucked back behind his ears. He has a wide face, wide jaw, widely set eyes. An Indian face. A handsome face. If I had not seen him in action and tasted his cooking, I would not be able to guess that Sean is the mastermind of the most surprising food in Minneapolis, and that his efforts at promoting indigenous cuisine are the sharpest spear being thrown into the heart of so‑called authenticity across the country.