Native American Natural Foods to Launch Non-Profit at Black Hills Powwow


The Black Hills Powwow in Rapid City, South Dakota will be held October 10 – 12, this year marks the seven year anniversary of when the Tanka Bar was introduced at the powwow. To celebrate, Native American Natural Foods is returning to launch its new non-profit the Tanka Fund.

“We need more buffalo producers in Indian country and that’s what Tanka Fund intends to accomplish,” said Karlene Hunter, CEO of Native American Natural Foods. “We will also be introducing our newest product, Jerky, which is made with a blend of turkey and buffalo.”

The newly established Tanka Fund is a charitable fund to support programs and activities to help return the buffalo to the Great Plains area while bringing renewed health and opportunity to Indian communities. The Fund is a partnership between Native American Natural Foods and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation.

The reason the meat is blended according to Hunter is because there aren’t enough Native buffalo producers to source enough meat for 100 percent buffalo product.

“We developed the new Jerky as a permanent fund-raising product,” she said. “We will contribute 10 percent of all of the jerky’s sales to the Tanka Fund to help return buffalo to the lands, lives and economies of Indian people.”

This weekend at the Black Hills Powwow, there will be an informational booth where those interested can learn more about the Tanka Fund, along with an honoring song, special tattoos and stickers, and samples of the new jerky.

Look for the buffalo hide painted by Rapid City artist Sonja Holy Eagle that will be showcased at the booth as well. This hide will be the grand prize of a yearlong Tanka Returns campaign contest, attendees can enter the contest at the booth, or by visiting

A retail-based phase will launch in November to coincide with National Bison Day and Native American Heritage Month. Jerky will be rolled out to retailers nationally and 10 percent of all Tanka products sold in November will be contributed to the fund.

Following its launch in 2007, Tank Bar, the buffalo and cranberry snack, is now available in stores in all 50 states and has become the No. 1 meat snack in the natural foods industry due to the company’s explosive growth.

 The Black Hills Powwow takes place at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, 444 Mt. Rushmore Road, Rapid City, South Dakota.

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