Native American Natural Foods CEO invited to attend White House Tribal Nations Conference

November 12, 2013

Native American Natural Foods CEO invited to attend White House Tribal Nations Conference
KYLE, S.D., Nov. 11, 2013 -- Karlene Hunter, CEO of Native American Natural Foods of Kyle, S.D., has been invited to attend the White House Tribal Nations Conference this week in Washington, D.C.

A White House aide contacted Hunter last week about flying to Washington, D.C., for the Nov. 13 conference at the Department of Interior. This is the second time in four years that Hunter has been invited to Washington by the White House. In 2009, she was invited to attend the President's announcement on the small business credit crisis.

"I was so surprised to be asked to attend an event that is usually reserved for tribal leaders only," said Hunter. "I am honored to be able to take part in such an historic event. And, obviously, we are taking Tanka Bars to share with the President, his staff, and all of the attendees."

Hunter, whose company is based in Kyle, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, is traveling to Washington with her business partner and co-founder of Native American Natural Foods, Mark Tilsen Sr.

According to the White House Office of the Press Secretary, the conference, which is the fifth such gathering for the Obama Administration, provides leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Each federally recognized tribe is invited to send one representative to the conference.

"I know that it is unusual for a private business owner to be invited to attend this conference," Hunter said. "I am looking forward to hearing what the Pine Ridge representative and all the other leaders, as well as the President, have to say."

The Tanka Bar, which is available nationally at nearly 5,000 retail locations and at, is a modern artisanal take on a traditional Native American recipe for "wasna" or "pemmican," which has been described by many nutritionists as the perfect energy food. The 100 percent natural buffalo and fruit bar is 70 calories and 7 grams of protein per 1 ounce serving.

Native American Natural Foods provides natural, healthy products by adding value to traditional Native food products, using modern scientific methods, the least amount of processing, and the lowest-stress animal handling methods possible.


For more information, photos or a full press kit, please call Linda Crider at 214-789-8642 or e-mail Linda at

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