With the popularity of New Year’s resolutions, it is irresistible to write about their meaning and usefulness. In past years I did elaborate and long lists in the human hopefulness that writing it down would help them come true,
Last year I did a self care resolution that was fun and I acquired lots of nice fabric and more good books. I recognize that I am in a position to continue this without a resolution because I work and have a good income. So this year, I gave more serious thought to what would be a productive and useful focus especially in light of all the ways that my friends and relatives are struggling throughout Indian Country. I wanted to do something that has a long term impact on the wellness of children and their families.
This year my resolution is to pay more attention to food and to issues of food sovereignty and access to food for tribal people. There are all kinds of remarkable community based tribal foods programs throughout our tribal nations and in urban and rural Native communities. Resources and strategies from organizations such as First Nations Development Institute, Indigenous Environmental Network and Seventh Generation Fund, and from governments such as the USDA tribal college extension programs fulfill dreams of restoration of tribal food practices including gardening, medicine making and preparation and preservation of foods. Practitioners share their work through publications, workshops, websites and blogs. Our connection to our sources of nutritional foods are part of our DNA, we need buffalo, salmon, rice, and corn to be fully Native. Technology, conferences and workshops and our already generous network gives us increased opportunity to share what we mean when we say as indigenous people – we are of the land and we are part of the land.
Search indigenous food sovereignty on the Internet and you will find wonderful stories, recipes, and community projects.
In support of food sovereignty (visit www.nwic.edu to see what Northwest Indian College is doing or visit the food sovereignty blog of Valerie Seagrest), my family is also supporting the establishment of a healthy snacks program at NWIC, donating to our local food bank and paying more attention to food in our home. We are working to reduce food waste and to focus on eating healthier meals and snacks. It’s great that we can do this and encourage others to do the same. Personally, I am no longer drinking soda except maybe as an occasional treat and I am reducing the amount of processed foods that we eat.
I would love to see a medicine garden at the college. Native plants is a program available?
We do have Native plants programming, visit http://www.nwic.edu for kor info
I now have two “no-till” plots ( for three sisters, corn, beans, & squash) 1 hedge of lavendar, a corner plot of russian sage (too accompany the lavendar hedge), one raised bed for stawberries and spinach, am adding two more no-till plots (melons and pumpkins) and another raised bed for all kinds of lettuce, carrots, herbs and tomatoes). Last year (first year)I planted only tomatoes and peppers. I will be adding buried clay pots for a hassle-free watering system and next year I’ll be adding buckets with an irrigation system based on gravitation, which reduces my gardening time by 80-90%. The no-till plots are weed free, require less watering and are organical fed from kitchen waste, that nomally would be thrown out with the garbage. I will be canning any excess.