SURVIVAL FOOD | Native author Tom Pecore Weso (Menominee)


Courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society Press

A new memoir called SURVIVAL FOOD shares tales from growing up on the Menominee Indian Reservation.

The author, Thomas Weso, was born in 1953.  He passed away in July before the book was published.

Thomas Weso grew up in a time of economic transformation – when commodity goods were eaten alongside game from Wisconsin’s Northwoods.  And then there was the rise of processed foods.

He often wrote about food. Here he is speaking in a 2021 interview with Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

“We should think about where food comes from. Because if we think where food comes from, we’ll take better care of the land around us.”

Weso’s wife, the writer Denise Low, says he was interested in writing about Indigenous people in the present.

“He had a very zen sense of like, “What’s here now?” and not “what were Indians like, or Indigenous people like, 100 years ago? Here we are now.”

Thomas Pecore Weso (1953-2023) was an author, educator, artist, and enrolled member of the Menominee Indian Nation of Wisconsin. His book Good Seeds: A Menominee Indian Food Memoir, published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in 2016, was reviewed widely and won a national Gourmand Award. He also wrote many articles and personal essays, a biography of Langston Hughes with coauthor Denise Low, and the children's book Native American Stories for Kids (Rockridge Press, 2022), which was named a 2023 Kansas Notable Book. Weso was an alumnus of Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas, where he earned a master's degree in Indigenous studies. He died in Sonoma County, California, on July 14, 2023.

Courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society Press
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