Proudly sharing indigenous roots
Indigenous People’s Day is a time for reflection, appreciation, and celebration of the rich and diverse cultures that have thrived on this land long before European settlers arrived. This year, SK Food Group took a step forward in honoring this important day by hosting a meaningful celebration across their facilities.
At SK Food Group, Associates gathered in breakrooms and common areas to connect with their heritage. Maps adorned with tribal regions were set up, allowing people to identify where different Indigenous tribes hailed from. This gesture served as a reminder of the vast and intricate tapestry of Indigenous cultures across North America.
One unique feature of the celebration was the distribution of seed packets from a Native seed company. These seeds were carefully chosen to flourish in their respective regions, paying homage to the ancestral knowledge of Indigenous peoples in cultivating the land. It was heartwarming to see people’s enthusiasm for planting these seeds, connecting with nature, and preserving Indigenous agricultural traditions.
The highlight of the event was a blanket raffle, bringing employees together in a spirit of camaraderie and giving them a chance to take home a meaningful memento of the day. Different blankets by a different Native American artist from Eighth Generation was given away based on the region Associates were in.
“It was cool…a number of people pointed to an area and tribe and talked about their great grandparents being Cherokee or Cheyenne or Shoshone or Choctaw…people wanted to talk about their heritage…including me.”
—Jeannene Schaffnit, SK Food Group’s Director of Environmental Health, Safety, and DEI Sustainability”
Throughout the celebration, individuals proudly shared their Indigenous roots. Jeannene Schaffnit, SK Food Group’s Director of Environmental Health, Safety, and DEI Sustainability, expressed her delight in witnessing the outpouring of heritage stories. She noted that people from Maintenance to Lift Drivers, Managers to Finance personnel, eagerly shared their ancestral connections, proving that Indigenous heritage is a shared and cherished history.
“It was cool,” Jeannene Schaffnit remarked, “a number of people pointed to an area and tribe and talked about their great grandparents being Cherokee or Cheyenne or Shoshone or Choctaw…people wanted to talk about their heritage…including me.” The event was not only a celebration but also an opportunity for Associates to connect on a deeper level, fostering a sense of belonging and understanding among colleagues.
In commemorating Indigenous People’s Day, we hope to showcase our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. By acknowledging and celebrating Indigenous heritage, we can all contribute to the broader conversation of recognizing the importance of Indigenous cultures in our collective history. The event served as a reminder that honoring Indigenous People’s Day is not just a one-time affair but a year-round commitment to acknowledging and respecting the heritage of those who came before us.