Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives Served Daily

KivaSun Foods

Native Americans always learned to respect the land, revere the food and gather together. And Notah Begay III — half Navajo, a quarter San Felipe, and a quarter Isleta — founded all-natural food company KivaSun in Bend, Oregon with these values in mind.

“Kiva” is a sacred meeting place for the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest. “Sun” is the ultimate source of light, warmth, hope and optimism. And, since 2010, KivaSun has honored bison the way Notah and his people have for centuries — not only for its sustenance, but also for its spiritual symbolism as a free creature in harmony with nature.

It definitely helps that bison is about as nutritious a meat as there is. It’s higher in protein and lower in fat than beef. And given that it’s illegal to use growth hormones and antibiotics to treat this species (one that’s grazed on native grasses for millennia) you can feel good about feeding it to your children. In fact, kid’s health is central to KivaSun’s mission — a portion of profits from each product sold helps to fund the NB3 Foundation, which Notah founded to battle obesity and Type 2 diabetes in Native American Youth. 

If you think Notah sounds like a pretty accomplished guy, here’s more: He studied Economics at Stanford University on scholarship while leading their golf team to a National Championship before going on to be a four-time PGA TOUR winner and a national network sports broadcaster. Talk about an overachiever.

Still, it’s his devotion to his Native American roots that makes Notah most proud. And our buttons are also bursting with pride to offer such a good-for-you, good-for-the-community and good-for-the-earth snack that’s so tender that the word jerky seems kind of misleading.

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