Indigenous Food Sovereignty Movement Pt. 2

Food sovereignty is a movement growing from the ground up, from farmers, ranchers, indigenous peoples and all people of Earth effected by the ever-growing problems of sustainability brought by hunger and poverty. Food sovereignty means, “people have enough food to meet their needs.”

What are some of the things you learned in the upcoming Farm to Fork episode?

I never knew the depth of the trauma that was endured in my ancestor’s time until I truly began learning further about the history; it told of some pretty dark times.

In working to heal trauma, it is beautiful to know that the Native people connect through laughter, stories, and food. In the Farm to Fork episode, the WyomingPBS crew and I met with different groups of people on the Wind River Reservation who showed us ways the Tribes utilize hunter-gatherer diets.

The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho call the Wind River Reservation home and both tribes work toward healing the traumas that have divided the people. Restoring Shoshone Ancestral Food gathering is a group that identify and gather berries, roots, and medicines that the Shoshone ancestors lived upon for survival. Going back to the Shoshone diet, living off the land is the overall goal of those involved with this group. To learn the identification of plants and living things connected to the earth has been beautiful to witness in the making of this episode.

To link in the Hoop Dance and why it is done, and how drastic times have shifted and changed things for the not so better. Because of health-related problems due to eating processed foods, also referred to as “commodities,” Native people suffer from poverty. Living to get by, yet humbly content. The land is home to the animals where wild game feeds those who eat it. This is lean meat.

Meat slicing is a technique that the ancestors used to make dried meat. The art is striving to stay alive in today’s time. Maxine Moss, Northern Arapaho Tribal member, taught us about meat slicing. We also learned how to make a bow and arrow and a small drum from buckskin.

It was quite amazing to do interviews within a tipi. I had never done that before and the experience was something else.

There are so many wonderful voices in the episode. We learned about the Buffalo, Marlin Spoonhunter, Native Educator, was teaching the youth about the Northern Arapaho culture. It was beautiful to hear the children reciting the Arapaho language. It was a space for them to learn all about their traditional roots.

We went to Wilson, Wyoming where we met Ben Clark of American Wilderness Botanicals and Maureen Molinari who is a nutritionist. Our visit to Wilson included an interview with Sean Sherman, the Sioux chef who won the James Beard Award for his recent cookbook.

We met Valerie Segrest who is also an author and a Native Nutrition Educator who specializes in traditional foods.

We met book authors Kathleen and W. Michael Gear where their insight has given the episode a healing vibe through an archaeological perspective.

There are so many people I haven’t mentioned. You will have to tune in for yourself… I don’t want to spoil it.

Next week I will talk about the meaning and difference in the words “culture” and “tradition,” and how these connect with food.

Stay tuned!

Meet the Author

Darrah Perez-Good Voice Elk

Darrah Perez-Good Voice Elk is a published author with four books: It Never Happened, It Always Happens, It’s Forever Happening, and Out With the Bad In With the Good: A Perfect Eclipse. Audio publications of her poetry are available on her YouTube channel.

You can contact Darrah to setup interviews, request permissions, or for additional information on the Indigenous Food Sovereignty Movement please complete the form below.

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Jaymee is the creative director and writing force behind Beaux Cooper Media. She loves to collaborate with other writers and journalists across the genres. Jaymee lives on the beautiful coast of Rhode Island with her cat, Ada, and dog, Bean.

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