Native American Foodsheds - Guest Speaker Brian Potts


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  • Sipaulovi will work to ensure elder food security by reclaiming locally controlled food systems based on traditional knowledge, contemporary practices, and coming together for the common good. Activities will focus on restoring seed and water sources, reviving community farming and gardening, and growing, processing and sharing food in the traditional manner. The gardens will be a reliable source of healthy food for elders. Sipaulovi is a self-governing Hopi village founded in the early 1700s on Second Mesa, Arizona. Of the 900 village residents, 28% are elders over 55, while 40% are youth up to age 18.Santo Domingo Pueblo will implement a traditional farming program to engage seniors, farmers and youth in the community. Through the purchase and development of a greenhouse, the seniors will plant and cultivate traditional crops. The seniors will work directly with youth on a weekly basis to provide traditional education around the interrelationship of agriculture and various cultural practices, including songs, dances and prayers. The seedlings cultivated in the greenhouse will be sold to community members and transplanted by elders and youth in a community field, where programming will continue throughout the summer and fall. At harvest time, elders and youth will work together to harvest crops for sale at local farmers markets and convenience stores.The Pueblo of Nambe's Community Farm Project will use its local resources of land, water and sun to revitalize traditional agricultural knowledge while aiming to end food insecurity among seniors in the community. The Pueblo of Nambe’s project has four main components: the construction of a hoop-house, management of a program called “Inventory of Surplus,” establishment of a Senior Food Distribution Service, and the formation and operation of a food database. They hope that their efforts will not only help eliminate food insecurity among the Native senior population but also foster community involvement in food production and distribution.The Ponca Tribe will raise natural pork and provide it to tribal elders by way of its local food-distribution program and senior citizen center. The tribe will provide land for the venture, and the pork will be raised so as to ensure no hormones or other growth aids are used.
  • Blackfeet “natapiwaskin” which means real food referring to bison meat and kistapiwaskin means “nothing food” for all other food
  • InterTribal formed in 1990 with a mission of “reestablishing buffalo herds on Indian lands in a manner that promotes cultural enhancement, spiritual revitalization, ecological restoration, and economic development.” As of 2011, the Council involves 57 tribes with a collective herd of 15,000 bison. Management varies between tribes, some more rigid and others more relaxed. The Crow, with 1000 bison on 30,000 acres, issues hunting tags to the general public to manage the heard and provide some income. These tags typically are at least $2000 a piece depending on the size and age of the buffalo.
  • Native American Foodsheds - Guest Speaker Brian Potts

    1. 1. Native American Agriculture Social Justice and Food April 1, 2013 Brian Potts, AICP
    2. 2. Why is this important? • Native Americans sustainably lived off the land for millennia • Lack of healthful food is a serious problem for all Americans, especially Natives • Relearning and retaining cultural traditions: eating in harmony with the land and your genetics
    3. 3. Cultural Misunderstandings Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930)
    4. 4. Strong Connection to the Land "The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged...." - Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux Chief (argued in Court that Natives should be treated as people in the eyes of the law)
    5. 5. Taming Nature and the Natives Native Americans: • Relocated, lost land • Divorced from culture • Taught to ranch and farm using “western” methods • Western diet • Reservations system American expansion: • Destruction of the native species and ecosystem • Plowing up Prairie • Sustainable ag. compared to today
    6. 6. Health Crisis • • • • Loss of cultural traditions Poverty Lack of land control Policy Disconnect: Food programs and dietary needs • 1.6 times as likely to be obese than whites • Higher rates of heart disease and diabetes • 50% less likely to engage in physical exercise
    7. 7. Solutions Instead of Westernizing, revive cultural traditions tied to food: • Local vegetables • “Three-sisters” • Bison • Sheep • Value-added products
    8. 8. Local Farming Grants and Programs: • Education on nutrition and farming • Greenhouses and community gardens • Facilities to add value • Focusing on vegetables
    9. 9. Local Farming First Nations: “The Colorado Plateau is a large geographic area covering parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The development of power generation on the Colorado Plateau has negatively impacted tribes and Native communities in the area. In an effort to combat these challenges, The Christensen Fund and the USDA-Rural Community Development Initiatives have each donated $50,000 ($100,000 total) to improve their local food systems and strengthen their economies”
    10. 10. Food for Native Seniors • Sipaulovi, Arizona – $25,000 • Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico – $25,000 • Pueblo of Nambe, New Mexico – $25,000 • Ponca Tribe, Oklahoma – $25,000
    11. 11. Three Sisters • Chaco Culture NP, Hovenweep NM, Mesa Verde MP • Allows for agriculture in dry, arid climates • Ancient system found throughout North America
    12. 12. Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance • The NAFSA project is a collaborative between First Nations and Taos County Economic Development Corporation (TCEDC) to support the development of a sustainable, nonprofit, Native-controlled and nationally-active Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance that will operate independently to address Native food security, hunger and nutrition in Native American communities at the national, tribal and local levels. The purpose of the Alliance will be to build a national Native movement and voice on Native food security and food system control.
    13. 13. Value-added Products Diné bé Iiná (The Navajo Lifeway), Window Rock, Arizona • In 2004, six Navajo weavers approached DBI for assistance in organizing their own rug auction so that they could exercise control over management and income from this endeavor, while training the weavers how use their own or locally-produced wool to earn more income from their work. Since that time, the group has successfully conducted rug auctions each year during the Sheep is Life Celebration. Criteria accept only fiber arts made with 100 per cent wool, with a premium placed on using handspun, Navajoraised wool in natural colors or vegetal dyes. Southwest Marketing Network has provided technical assistance on forming a cooperative business.
    14. 14. Bison • A healthy bison diet • Balancing between tradition and living • Restores key part of local ecosystem • Provides income for tribes
    15. 15. Bison Facilitators • United Tribal Technical College • National Bison Assoc. • InterTribal Buffalo Council
    16. 16. Bison Traditions • Cayuse Indians (Oregon) once traveled hundreds of miles on horseback to hunt bison • Montana gave permission to the Nez Perce of Idaho and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes of northwest Montana to hunt bison on federal lands outside Yellowstone • Using USDA mobile slaughterhouses to conduct rituals and reduce stress on the animal
    17. 17. Conclusion: Moving Forward • Native Americans returning to sustainable cultural lifestyles • Improving access to healthful food • Developing a local and Native controlled economy Native American youth farmer markets sell veggies from heirloom seeds – Minneapolis, NM
    18. 18. Discussion: • What is your understanding or experience of Native American health issues? • What do you think we can learn from Native American food and cultural • traditions when it comes to foodshed planning in general?
    19. 19. Urban Farming and Zoning Barriers to Growing Where You Live April 1, 2013 Brian Potts, AICP
    20. 20. Zoning in Theory • Preservation of quality of life, property value, safety • Land Use – What kind of uses can happen where to prevent things like… – Mix of uses: Living next to a steel mill – Density: 40 story towers next to a small house – Safety: buildings in flood-prone areas • Main goal: Encouraging good development to make quality communities
    21. 21. Zoning in Practice • Most of the time this works well but sometimes regulations lag behind societies needs and mismatch modern lifestyles • Bad economy=home occupations (including small-scale farming) • Hobbies: gardening versus urban farming
    22. 22. Separation of Uses Modern Zoning: • Keep uses separate: Commercial, Residential, Industrial, Agricultural • Ag and residential used to be mixed Today: • Its good to live where you work • Fighting “food deserts” • Farming as an amenity • Desire to grow food at home
    23. 23. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder Aesthetics, height of plants, specifications for types of plants, HOA covenants: Intent – To prevent overgrown landscaping and well maintained property to have a good looking community and stable property values In practice – Unintentionally prohibit front yard gardening (sometime intentionally)
    24. 24. Discussion • How do we grow more food where we live? • Can we grow all the food we need where we live? • Identifying barriers…
    25. 25. Further Questions? Brian Potts