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Located in the downtown east area of Minneapolis sits an Indigenous restaurant along the Mississippi River that will surely have a longer reservation line after the latest James Beard Awards Monday night. 

Owamni took home the 'Best New Restaurant' award at the ceremony for restaurants around the country. 

"Our ancestors are proud tonight," co-owner Sean Sherman said during his acceptance speech. "White supremacy doesn't like to be dismantled, but we can do it together."

Co-owner Dana Thompson said winning the award "is so much bigger than us."

"Owamni is more like a community spirit than anything else," she added.

The restaurant features Native American cuisine, with nearly the entire staff consisting of Indigenous chefs and workers. Its location is on Owanmniyomni sacred land for Dakota and Anishinaabe people.

Choginyapi Corn Sandwich at Owamni.

An Elk Choginyapi Corn Sandwich with sweet potatoes and pepita at Owamni.

The riverside establishment makes it a priority to purchase their ingredients and foods from Indigenous food producers, both locally and nationally. According to the eatery's website, the restaurant specializes in "decolonized ingredients," using "true" flavors from North America such as foods of "Mni Sota Makoce, Land Where the Waters Reflect the Clouds."

"We have removed colonial ingredients such as wheat flour, cane sugar and dairy. We are proud to present a decolonized dining experience," the restaurant states on its website. 

"When we started, we coined the term '86 colonialism,' because it was really a statement due to people of color being affected by colonialism and centuries of racist bull***," Sherman remarked while accepting the award. 

"Our ancestors are proud tonight, because we're doing something different. We're putting health on the table, we're putting culture on the table, we're putting our stories on the table."

The Star Tribune reports that this marks the first time a Minnesota restaurant has won in a competitive national category. 

As for Sherman, this is the second time he has been recognized by the James Beard Awards, as in 2019 he won a James Beard Leadership Award and previously won an award for Best American Cookbook in 2018. Sherman originally started the movement to open the establishment in 2014 when he opened "The Sioux Chef" as a caterer and food educator in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, according to Owamni's website

For a full list of winner's from Monday night's ceremony, click here.

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