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Owamni, the award-winning Minneapolis restaurant co-founded by chef Sean Sherman, is under new — but familiar — ownership.

Sherman's North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS) announced Friday that it has acquired Owamni as well as its Tatanka Truck food truck, which is often parked outside the restaurant along the Mississippi River. The move expands the reach of the nonprofit, which works to address economic and health crises in Indigenous communities through Native foodways.

"Moving Owamni into the NATIFS family fulfills the original vision, making the longevity of Owamni more possible while focusing on mission over profit," Sherman said in a statement. "This acquisition seamlessly integrates into our broader vision, offering new possibilities for guest chef events, exchanges and the expansion of Owamni into a training center."

According to NATIFS' social media, Owamni will be "a for-profit subsidiary of the nonprofit," and revenue will directly support programs benefiting Native people and communities.

Before the acquisition, Owamni and the Tatanka Truck were part of Ghost Dancer, the company formerly owned by Sherman and his former partner, Dana Thompson. Sherman, who first made a splash as the Sioux Chef, will retain the rights to that branding and trademark. Thompson is no longer involved in Owamni or NATIFS.

"I have stepped away from both the nonprofit and the for-profit entities to focus on expanding the overall mission through new ventures," Thompson said in an email to the Star Tribune. "I will always be the co-creator of Owamni and it holds a special place in my heart, as well as the co-founder of NATIFS. My departure creates space within these organizations for more of the Indigenous community to flourish and lead."

Sherman's original vision for NATIFS, founded in 2017, called for creating a replicable hub that included a full-service training restaurant, a professional Indigenous kitchen for entrepreneurs and a multifunctional classroom and demonstration studio to revive and redefine Indigenous culinary practices. NATIFS also includes the Indigenous Food Lab and Indigenous Food Lab Market in Minneapolis' Midtown Global Market.

Sherman has been spreading his culinary message in appearances across the country and closer to home, through events like Indigenous Peoples Day at the Minnesota State Fair. He'll also be honored next month with a Julia Child Award, which comes with a $50,000 grant that will go to NATIFS.

Owamni, co-founded by Sherman and Thompson, debuted in 2021 to much fanfare. It topped best restaurant lists throughout the country, including the Star Tribune's, and was named the named Best New Restaurant in America in 2022 by the James Beard Foundation. Sherman will continue to provide management oversight of the restaurant.