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3rd ANNUAL OUR FOOD IS OUR MEDICINE CONFERENCE

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Food sovereignty is more than a movement; it is a core component of tribal sovereignty. Our ancestors recognized, cultivated, harvested, and prepared food, seasonally. Our ‘usual and accustomed” places are integral to our treaties because that is where we cultivated and harvested our food.

The 3rd annual “Our Food is Our Medicine” conference, “Resiliency in the Face of Change”?is an opportunity to learn more of our old ways and how they are brought into current use.

The workshops include the teachings of the plant people, working with cedar, traditional tools, genetically modified fish, emerging tribal leaders, and more.

We respectfully invite you to register for our September event and share your thoughts with us at the Kiana Lodge in Suquamish, WA. We have a block of rooms reserved at the Clearwater Casino which range from $112 – $132. There are also 3 cabins available for larger groups, also at NWIC rates reserved for this conference.

Conference registration has an early discount until July 31st, 2014, of $175. After July 31stregistration is $200 per person. Elders and enrolled students are $125. There are single date registration rates of $80 for each of the first two days (9/24 or 9/25) and the last day, a half day, $50

Click on the link below to register today, we look forward to meeting you.

THE TRADITIONAL PLANTS AND FOODS PROGRAM

We are a long-term general wellness and diabetes prevention program that recognizes the therapeutic value of traditional foods and medicines. Regular gatherings are hosted by many tribal communities. Community-based programs serve native people at the Lummi and Muckleshoot reservations and at the Northwest Indian Treatment Center. Not only does our Plants Program offer direct services, but it also provides training for those interested in becoming educators in their own community.

DONATE

If you are able to donate funds toward our Northwest Indian College Traditional Plants and Foods Program please contact our Program Director at 360 392-4248 or at sgiven@nwic.edu.

Thank you!

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3rd Annual Conference

Writer: nwicplantsandfoods.com Categories: 3rd Annual Conference

Welcome

OFOM_2014

Our Food is Our Medicine Conference 2014

Food sovereignty is more than a movement; it is a core component of tribal sovereignty. Our ancestors recognized, cultivated, harvested, and prepared food, seasonally. Our ‘usual and accustomed” places are integral to our treaties because that is where we cultivated and harvested our food.

The 3rd annual “Our Food is Our Medicine” conference, “Resiliency in the Face of Change” is an opportunity to learn more of our old ways and how they are brought into current use.

The workshops include the teachings of the plant people, working with cedar, traditional tools, genetically modified fish, emerging tribal leaders, and more.

We respectfully invite you to register for our September event and share your thoughts with us at the Kiana Lodge in Suquamish, WA. We have a block of rooms reserved at the Clearwater Casino which range from $112 – $132. There are also 3 cabins available for larger groups, also at NWIC rates reserved for this conference.

Conference registration has an early discount until July 31st, 2014, of $175. After July 31st registration is $200 per person. Elders and enrolled students are $125. There are single date registration rates of $80 for each of the first two days (9/24 or 9/25) and the last day, a half day, $50

Click on the link below to register today, we look forward to meeting you.

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About Us

Writer: nwicplantsandfoods.com Categories: About Us



NORTHWEST INDIAN COLLEGE

Through education,?Northwest Indian College?promotes indigenous self determination and knowledge.?

The Northwest Indian College (NWIC) main campus is at Lummi Nation near Bellingham, Washington.? Extended campuses are at the Swinomish, Tulalip, Muckleshoot, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Nisqually, and Nez Perce reservations.? In the 2011-2012 academic year, NWIC served 1,410 students from well over 100 tribes and First Nations bands.? During the same period, the NWIC Extension Office provided over 350 community education programs to over 6,000 attendees.

The NWIC Cooperative Extension Office offers a wide variety of community education programs, workshops, train the trainers, conferences, and events throughout the Pacific Northwest.?? To date, our Extension programs have been hosted by 26 of Washington’s 29 tribes.? Our mission is?to promote self-sufficiency and wellness for indigenous people through culturally grounded, multi-generational, and holistic programs.

Our Office meets tribal community educational needs head on by using an approach that worked for generations.? Rather than turn to outside sources for help, we look within each tribe’s own culture and traditions.? It is there that we find solutions.? Using traditional knowledge and problem solving techniques ensures that our programs are effective.? Our Cooperative Extension programs include:

The Traditional Plants and Foods Program?is a long-term general wellness and diabetes prevention program that recognizes the therapeutic value of traditional foods and medicines.? Regular gatherings are hosted by many tribal communities.? Community-based programs serve native people at the Lummi and Muckleshoot reservations and at the Northwest Indian Treatment Center.? Not only does our?Plants Program?offer direct services, but it also provides training for those interested in becoming educators in their own community.??Read more

The Institute of Indigenous Food and Traditions?serves as a hub where Cooperative Extension and our partners come together to exchange and share best practices and resources in an effort to build tribal community strength and resiliency.? The Institute offers an annual conference to share best practices and models for community change.??Read more

The Financial Literacy Training Program?builds on the fact that Indian people have always managed resources wisely.? In addition to ongoing classes, individual financial counseling and family activities.? Classes benefit tribal members who want to start a business, buy a home, improve their credit, prepare for college, and gain control of their financial futures.??Read more

Elaine Grinell, Vendiolas

We offer annual conferences that feature native trainers and mentorship opportunities.? TheFamily Culture Camp?includes three nights of camping, sharing meals, games, bikes, songs, storytelling, and wellness workshops.??The Weavers Teaching Weavers Gatheringbrings together master weavers to preserve the native tradition of weaving and basketry throughout Pacific Northwest tribes.???Read more

ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

The Tribal Museum Studies Program?provides indigenous peoples with academic and professional development opportunities to learn about and develop skills related to tribal history and cultural arts. Three core courses cover museum collections management, administration and operations, and exhibit and education. These courses are transferable to an AA/AS or BA degree at NWIC.

All of our programs, workshops, and courses are designed in the traditional holistic manner.? Each incorporates elements of all others.? We believe that people have the tools they need to improve their lives through the use of tribal cultures and traditions.??By bringing people together, we make change happen by offering activities that fortify traditions within tribal and family groups, by promoting intergenerational communication, and by providing healing opportunities for people who need a hopeful perspective on their futures.

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Contact Us

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Susan Given Seymour,?Director of Cooperative Extension, Outreach and Community Education.sgiven@nwic.edu

Elizabeth Campbell,?Traditional Foods Educator.ecampbell@nwic.edu

Vanessa Cooper,?Lummi Traditional Plants Educator.vcooper@nwic.edu

Elise Krohn,?Traditional Foods Educator and Herbalist.ekrohn@nwic.edu

Valerie Segrest,?Native Nutrition Educator.???vsegrest@nwic.edu

La Belle Urbanec,?Institute Coordinator. ?lurbanec@nwic.edu

For general inquiries call 360-392-4248.

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Food Sovereighty

Writer: nwicplantsandfoods.com Categories: Food Sovereighty

Welcome

TRIBAL COMMUNITY FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

Food sovereignty is an increasingly important issue among native communities across the world.  As the industrial food system grows and wild food landscapes dwindle, many tribal people are severed from their traditional food ways.  Native foods are not only nutritionally superior to industrial foods, they are deeply woven into culture.  When people cultivate, harvest, process, prepare and serve native foods, they build strong relationships with the land and with each other. We believe in the power and source of our indigenous spirits as being connected to the lands, foods, plants, waters and rocks of our ancestors.

Communities that exhibit tribal food sustainability and food sovereignty are those that:

* Have access to healthy food
* Have foods that are culturally appropriate
* Grow, gather, hunt, and fish in ways that is maintainable over the long-term
* Distribute foods in ways so people get what they need to stay healthy
* Adequately compensate the people who provide the food
* Utilize tribal treaty rights and uphold policies that ensure continued access to traditional foods

Tribal Treaties and Native Foods

A violent war for natural resources erupted between Indian people and settlers soon after non-Indians arrived in the Pacific Northwest.  While settlers wanted to possess the land through ownership, Indian people wanted to access the land as they had for countless generations.  This difference in world-view caused tensions and Indians became the target of animosity and violence, perhaps because they stood between settlers and the Northwest’s rich resources.

In response to tensions, the U.S. government negotiated a series of treaties with 20 Indian tribes in western Washington in 1855-1856.  Treaties are legally binding contracts under the United States Constitution.  Tribes were recognized as sovereign nations and agreed to give up some land but reserved certain rights to ensure their cultures would survive.  Among them were the rights to fish, hunt, and gather native foods.

 

 

Initially, the U.S. government was complacent about treaty rights, believing that settlers were primarily interested in farming as a food source.  They were gravely mistaken.  As Washington State took control of salmon harvests and treaty rights were denied, many American Indians revolted.  Treaty rights were not upheld until what is commonly referred to as the “Boldt Decision” of 1974, which reaffirmed original treaty rights and established tribes as co-managers of salmon within the state.

In spite of U.S. District Court Judge George Boldt’s decision in United States v. Washington, tension among sports and commercial fishers, the State of Washington, tribes, and tribal fishers has persisted.  Other laws make it difficult for native people to access their traditional foods.  New regulations require that Indian people get a permit for harvesting forest products, including berries and cedar.  This costs extra time and money.  There is concern that if native people do not exercise their rights to hunt, fish and gather, they will lose their rights under the treaties.

Soon after the treaties were signed, the U.S. government began distributing annuity foods that included pig fat, beans, flour and sugar to tribes.  According to Rudolph Ryser (Cowlitz) chair of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, “The strategy was to wean people away from reliance on the land.  Then they would not need access to deer, fish, and other traditional foods.  They could become ‘civilized.’”   These annuity foods were used to create foods such as fry bread.  Unfortunately, the lard was far inferior to the people’s customary sources of fat from wild animals and fish.  Carbohydrates, including wheat, were refined in a way that removed most of the fiber and made them into quick digesting high-gluten cereal and flour.  Because milk and grains were not present in the traditional diet of Washington coastal tribes, people did not have the ability to digest lactose and high-gluten wheat.  All of these may be factors in the subsequent development of chronic diseases, including diabetes.

In the 1930s, the U.S. government created the formal commodity foods program to help farm workers who were suffering from the upheaval of the Great Depression.  Surplus grains and other foods were bought from American producers to keep prices stable.  Commodity foods changed over time based on what surplus was available.  These surplus foods were distributed to Indian communities.  Many Indian People experienced growing up with commodity foods, including powdered milk that would not dissolve, poor quality meat, and processed cheese.

Tribal communities still rely heavily on government commodities and state and federal food programs to feed their people.  While food that is provided has improved over the decades, it is often high in sugar, carbohydrates, and poor quality fats that increase the risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.  Fresh produce, good quality proteins and healthy fats that were the foundation to a healthy traditional diet are not as available in these food programs.  Additionally, state and federal food programs often mandate what types of foods must be served, even if they are not culturally appropriate.  This is where the importance of food sovereignty is evident.  As tribal communities are able to produce more of their own healthy food, they become less restricted by food regulations.

TAKING CONTROL OF FOOD RESOURCES

For many reasons, tribal communities across the nation are striving to become more stable in their ability to provide their own food.  According to the Food Sovereignty Assessment Tooldesigned by the First Nations Development Institute (2004):

Assuming power to localize your food supply affords opportunities to regain control of the most significant assets possessed by Native communities.  Conscious management of food supplies affords opportunities for tribal use of land, deliberate control of health, sustainability of the environment, and maintenance or revitalization of cultural integrity.

Innovative techniques for building food sovereignty are growing in many tribal communities across the Northwest.  The Nisqually Tribe support a garden program that produces enough native and non-native fruits and vegetables to supply tribal programs including Headstart, the elders program, community events, and individual families.  The Suquamish Tribe have created a food policy council.  Tulalip and other tribes offer community education programs that teach people how to harvest native foods and grow food in gardens.  Farmers markets on reservations are helping to fill the gap in access to local fresh produce.

Building strong partnerships within communities is central to tribal food sovereignty.  One woman from the Skokomish Tribe who fishes for a living spoke about how important it is to get to know people in your community who gather, grow, hunt or fish for food.  Often these people are willing to donate food for tribal events or may be willing to trade.  No person is an island.  We each carry different knowledge and skills.  If we rely on each other, it makes the community stronger.  When we are active citizens that recognize our dependence on the environment and on other people, then we can maintain those relationships and pass them on to the next generation.  This strengthens our social fabric and creates a balanced food system.

 NORTHWEST INDIAN COLLEGE FOOD SOVEREIGNTY PROGRAMS

THE TRADITIONAL FOODS OF PUGET SOUND PROJECT

The importance of native foods emerged as a central theme through our Northwest Indian College Traditional Plants and Foods Program.  In 2008 we started a community based research project to answer the question:  How do we utilize research about traditional foods of Puget Sound Indians to create a healthier diet and lifestyle for Indian people today?

Through a review archeological research and ethnographic records as well as interviews with elders and native food experts, we identified native foods that are readily available along with locally grown foods that are nutritionally similar to native foods.  Through community roundtable discussions we documented what native foods people are still using, what the barriers are to accessing those foods, and how to overcome those barriers.  Finally, we hosted a 3-day cooks camp where 20 tribal cooks developed delicious, healthy, and inexpensive traditional foods recipes.  Project findings, stories, native foods descriptions, a grocery shopping guide, and recipes were compiled in a book entitled Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture.  Over 3,000 copies have been distributed within tribal communities.  A native foods nutrition curriculum based on the project has been taught in three Western Washington Tribal Communities and will be released as a free access teaching tool in 2013.  Read more…

THE LUMMI TRADITIONAL FOOD PROJECT

In 2009, we began a program to increase access to healthy local foods and traditional foods in the Lummi community.  Twenty Lummi families receive boxes of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables throughout the spring, summer, and fall.  The box includes recipes and instructions on how to prepare and preserve the foods.

One of the participants in the project said:

Before the Lummi Traditional Food project, my children didn’t know what zucchini was.  When they saw me cooking a veggie stir fry, they asked if I could put that “green stuff” in the stir fry.  Now, they enjoy eating more fruits and vegetables, and they help me cook using the CSA foods.

Through interviews with participants, data is gathered on the use of traditional foods, usual and accustomed resource sites, typical meals, meals for special gatherings, food preparation methods, and more.  This program model will be useful in other tribal communities.  Read more…

THE MUCKLESHOOT FOOD SOVEREIGNTY PROJECT

To be a sovereign tribe, we need food sovereignty.  When our ancestors signed treaties, they made sure we’d be able to flourish physically, culturally, and spiritually for centuries to come.  Our Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project builds community food resources and helps knowledge keepers to share their gifts so we can sustain a healthy food system in the future for everyone.                                                                                -Valerie Segrest, Muckleshoot, Project Coordinator

In 2010, we started a project in the Muckleshoot community that focuses on building community food security through examining the tribe’s food assets, accessibility, and production potential.  We offer hands-on workshops that feature the cultural teachings related to some of our most revered traditional foods including salmon, camas, elk and berries.  Plus we use a variety of traditional cooking methods.  We also help put on traditional foods feasts for community events and have coordinated the installation of three edible food gardens that feature both local and traditional foods.  These gardens are both food production areas and educational spaces.

Collectively, through this program, the Muckleshoot community has instigated over thirty initiatives in the first two years alone. Every initiative has been requested by community members, and completely relies on community participation in order to be successful.  In 2013, community members came together to form a coalition that is developing food policy, organizing tribal food purchasing power, and creating a multi-year food sovereignty plan by 2014.  Wendy Burdette, Muckleshoot, Elders Program Coordinator for the Muckleshoot Tribe, says:

Food sovereignty is important to us.  Historically, we had good access to many types of seasonal foods from a variety of ecosystems.  Sadly, this is no longer the case.  This program is great because it lets youth work with elders.  Cultural sharing is done the traditional way.  It’s passed along orally.   

Read more

BOOKS ON FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

Our Food, Our Right: Recipes for Food Justice.  This booktakes you on a journey through many of the current globalized food system’s failures, and showcases creative solutions that communities worldwide are designing to regain control over their food, and the health of their bodies and neighborhoods.  The Northwest Indian College Traditional Foods of Puget Sound Project is featured along with recipes from Elise Krohn and Valerie Segrest.  Order from Community Alliance for Global Justice.http://www.nwicplantsandfoods.com/food-justice/ofor/ or Amazon.com

Messages from Frank’s Landing: A Story of Salmon, Treaties and the Indian Way  (2000)  by Charles Wilkinson

Red Alert! Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge (2009) by Daniel Wildcat

Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System.  (2007) by Raj Patel

Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming (2005) by Winona LaDuke

In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto (2009) by Michael Pollen

Renewing Americas Food Traditions (2008) by Gary Paul Nabhan

Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin’Mamas (2010) and Closing the Food Gap (2008) by Mark Winne

Food Movements Unite: Strategies to Transform our Food Systems (2011) edited by Eric Holt-Gimenez

ONLINE RESOURCES:

American Native Food

Community Alliance For Global Justice

Community Food Security Coalition

First Nations Development Institute

Oneida Community Integrated Food Systems

The Puget Sound Traditional Diet and Diabetes Project

Renewing Americas Food Traditions

Tohono O’Odham Community Action

White Earth Land Recovery Project

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Institute

Writer: nwicplantsandfoods.com Categories: Institute

THE INSTITUTE OF INDIGENOUS FOODS AND TRADITIONS

The Institute of Indigenous Foods & Traditions was created in 2011 by Northwest Indian College’s Cooperative Extension staff.?? The Institute serves as a house of knowledge, a place where program successes and resources can be shared.? Through embracing ancestral teachings and identifying successful models for change, we build tribal community strength and resilience.

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THE INSTITUTE OFFERS

  • Advocacy
  • An annual conference
  • Leadership development
  • Train-the-trainers programs
  • Best practices think tanks
  • Models for systemic community change

The 2012?Our Food is Our Medicine Conference?was the kickoff event for the Institute.? The gathering was a great success, attracting over 130 tribal food sovereignty leaders from the Pacific Northwest region and beyond.?? Interactive workshops, panel discussions, skill sharing, nature walks, fireside storytelling, medicine making, and traditional foods feast were part of the event.? It was an opportunity for participants to share their gifts, knowledge, and resources.??Read more

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The 2013?Our Food is Our Medicine Conference?was the 2nd Annual event. ?It was held at the Bastyr University in Seattle, WA on September 11th-13th. ?The conference focused on policy changes and other strategies that support the People and the Land. ‘Policy’ is a word that we commonly hear in our modern world, yet it is difficult to comprehend.? Many communities and governmental agencies are busily creating food policies and we are striving to understand what that means. “Policy is translating our shared values and our vision into action” says June O’Brien.? During our time together we shared our visions for revitalizing native food traditions, improving native peoples’ health, and protecting the land. We explored the principles and values that have guided successful programs and pledged to continue to bring this work forward.? We are committed to the wellness of indigenous people.

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