(October, 2023) A beautiful fall evening ushered in the return of the in-person celebration of the ‘sustainers of life’ with the Oneida Indian Nation’s 27th annual Three Sisters Dinner on Oct. 19. The event held at Turning Stone Resort Casino’s Shenendoah Clubhouse was the first in-person Three Sisters Dinner since 2019, and Nation Members and Health Services Clients in attendance were treated to a wonderful event.

The dinner’s theme, “Celebrating a Healthy Harvest,” was prominent throughout with appetizer stations dedicated to each one of the Three Sisters – corn, beans and squash – and a healthy buffet. Three Sisters recipe cards and seed packets were available for take-home at each of the stations as well.

Barbara George-Winton (Wolf Clan) supplied nearly 60 quarts of traditional corn soup for the dinner. She began the process several days in advance with the assistance of he daughter, Chelsea Jocko. Chelsea also delivered the Thanksgiving Address in Onyota’a:ká: before the buffet lines opened.

The annual event is sponsored by the Oneida Indian Nation Health Services’ Yukwata’kali:ték Diabetes Program. This is the fifth Three Sisters Dinner that Mollie Tracy, RDN, CDN Diabetes Program Coordinator for the Oneida Indian Nation Health Services, has planned. The 2020 dinner was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 and 2022 celebrations were changed into ‘to-go’ dinners for safety precautions.

“It was nice for everyone to see each other again and to celebrate unique, delicious ways to have corn, beans and squash as well as other traditional American Indian dishes,” she said.  “Despite a smaller crowd this year, there was excellent participation in the social dancing which was great to see.”

The Yukwata’kali:ték Diabetes Program has received accreditation from the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES) and offers diabetes education sessions at Oneida Indian Nation Health Services by appointment to registered Oneida Member and American Indian clients.

Social dancing led by Chris Thomas (Onondaga), Levi Confer (Turtle Clan) and Wes Halsey (Wolf Clan) closed the event on a beautiful note. Yawʌ́ to all who attended.