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NATIVE EATS: Miko’s Native Cuisine aims to give authentic red earth flavor to the OKC food-truck scene

Courtesy of Miko Barber
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Growing up, Miko Vincent Barber, due to circumstances beyond his control, often felt like he wasn’t part of the Native culture. A Choctaw by birth, now a grown man of 23, he has spent the past few years trying to rectify this by doing what he can to give back to the Native community, especially in regards to poverty and hunger.

This submersion back into the culture also unlocked a creative hunger within himself in the form of Native American cuisine. Having spent the past year or so studying and learning about the role that food has taken in Native history, he wants to take this passion of contributing to his culture one step further by opening up a food truck that is truly a first of its kind, specializing in Native eats that utilize ingredients many Oklahoma tribes used on a regular basis.

“This food, with these natural ingredients that are indigenous to this land was just one thing that I’ve always enjoyed,” Barber said. “I love going to food trucks and food truck parks and trying different food from every walk of life and that’s kind of how I started gravitating towards this idea of sharing my take on Native American cuisine. I feel like it’s my way of contributing and maybe even inspiring other Natives to create.”

The menu, which is still being written and experimented with, will be full of Barber’s own “artistic takes” on Native dishes by infusing popular indigenous ingredients with typical food truck fare, such as a variation on nachos that utilizes buffalo, butternut squash, corn, red beans and onions. He said that variations on popular fare like this is his way of expanding a menu beyond the archetypal Indian taco, creating comfort food with a Native spin on them.

“It’s exciting to share what Native Americans grew up eating, these common ingredients and common dishes that have been around for a long time, these homemade traditions from different Native families,” Barber said. “I saw it when I was little when I would visit family and those memories and experiences are feeding into many of my recipes.”

While a brick and mortar restaurant would never be out of the question, for Barber however, he feels that food trucks and the food truck culture that is currently immersing in up and coming cities like Oklahoma City is a better fit for him and the food he’s trying to craft, allowing him to “be a bigger part of the community by being able to be out and about.”

Even though he’s currently looking into ideas such as tribal small business loans, Barber has hit the ground running by utilizing crowdfunding to help pay for the food truck he has his eye on. Seeking around $2,000, he’s hoping to rally the positive words many in the community have spoken to him about the idea into a monetary reality.

“The feedback has been amazing,” Barber said. “I’ve spoken to many of my friends who are very involved in the Native American community and they love the idea. They are really excited for someone to buy a food truck and represent Native culture in a way like this. This is my way of not only being a part of my culture again, but sharing this pride I have for it with the world.”

To donate to Miko’s Native Cuisine, click here

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About the Author

Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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