FLANDREAU, S.D. -- It seems an unlikely concept: teenagers forgoing the immediacy of a McDonald's Big Mac to learn how to cook their own lower-fat version.
But that's what some students at the Flandreau Indian School in South Dakota are doing, and it has a deeper significance. The experience is teaching them about bison, an animal considered sacred in their Native American culture.
The students are part of a pilot project started by the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe and South Dakota State University researchers to restore the cultural significance of the animal and consumption of bison meat among community members, particularly young people.
Through cooking demonstrations and educational outreach, the students are learning that healthier and tasty options are available that also connect them to their ancestors.