Yesterday, my friend Marina gave me some seeds of a plant I’d never heard of before. In the age of the increasing industrialization of our food and the erosion of biodiversity within cultural contexts, the Indigenous Seed Keeper Network asks the questions that assists communities of diverse cultures and backgrounds; Can we envision the Seed Commons, and coordinate collaborative efforts to care and protect for our seeds that is in right relationship to a diverse understanding of cultural values and cosmology? It simply means back to Mother Earth, a return to our origins, to life and cocreation, honoring the life-giving force of the Divine Feminine. We are indigenous families with beautifully sustainable ways of living and nourishing our communities. We have a strong focus on facilitating regional collaborations that uplift and empower peer-to-peer mentorship, bringing together farmers, gardeners and food/seed advocates together to share best practices. Indigenous growing techniques also protect the lands that Native nations now inhabit, and can potentially benefit the wider ecosystems around them. BY: White Earth Land Recovery Project. Please learn more here at our sister site, NAFSA to learn more about the Indigenous Seedkeepers Network. The Indigenous concept of. We have organized and hosted numerous Indigenous Seed Keeper trainings, including a large Indigenous Seed Keeper Summit in May of 2014, where we had over 30 participants from many tribal communities all over the country, including Dakota, Lakota, Anishinaabe, Oneida, and Chippewa and Umatilla nations. Indigenous Seed Keepers Network Seeds are a vibrant and vital foundation for food sovereignty and are the basis for sustainable, healthy agriculture. The seed keepers. In many communities, including our Mohawk tradition, the responsibility of caring for the seeds over the generations is ultimately within the women’s realm. The exchange conserves culturally diverse food crops by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants. To learn more about this vital tradition, Modern Farmer spoke with four Indigenous farmers: Rowen White, a member of the Mohawk community of … 11/27/2015. This process often entails policy documents and negotiations, but also spiritual and emotional work—developing new ceremonies and protocols to welcome home these relatives, as well as acknowledging the elders who have worked for so long to make this movement possible. The mentorship will offer tools and a framework for Native communities to increase seed/food security through asset mapping and facilitated strategic project mapping. New Seed Article. Sharing traditional knowledge to protect the next generation Welcome to the Seed Keepers Wa’tkwanonhwera:tons Ratinenhanonhnha! Throughout these precarious times, many COVID-19 funding solutions have been implemented without Indigenous communities’ collaboration and consent, leading to ineffective response efforts and deepened harms. Despite the scorched earth tactics of countless colonial and imperial forces to try and starve us into submission and cultural amnesia, many of our people and seeds survived; like seeds from dark rich earth we sprout once again, nourishing today dreams of hope and renewal of a new peaceful existence where children know no hunger and our communities are healthy in mind, body and spirit once again. It simply means back to Mother Earth, a return to, our origins, to life and cocreation, honoring the life-giving force of the Divine, Relationships and partnerships are being developed to ensure that, communities who have been absent of their seeds are reunited with them, and that, in many cases those seeds are then reunited with their ancestral soil. Together with our stories, our voices, our visions and our presence, we weave a basket together to hold all the seeds of hope that nourish….We weave a vessel inside our hearts that makes the ancestors rejoice, one that holds the stories of how we survived with hope in our hearts and seeds in our pockets. Photo by Adobe Stock/FerrizFrames. She is the chair of the Board of Directors of Seed Savers Exchange, the largest public access seed bank in North America. the seeds over the generations is ultimately within the women’s realm. This approach promotes strategic thinking about the relief, recovery, development as well as culturally appropriate and traditional uses of seeds. OUR MISSION We redevelop the spiritual bonds our people have with the seeds which in return teaches us how to become more environmentally, culturally, economically, and health conscious. 10/31/2015. Seeds waiting for loving hands to patiently place them into welcoming soil once more so that they can continue to fulfill their original agreement to help feed the people. Many Indigenous seed keepers have been faced with the decision to gift seed for food at the risk of losing an ancestral variety. Rowen White is a Seedkeeper from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and an activist for Indigenous seed sovereignty. We support the creation of solutions-oriented programs for adaptive resilient seed systems within tribal communities to enhance the creative capacity to continue to evolve as the face of our Mother Earth changes. The contributors include scholar-activists in the fields of ethnobotany, history, anthropology, nutrition, insect ecology, biology, marine environmentalism, and federal Indian law, as well as indigenous seed savers and keepers, cooks, farmers, spearfishers, and community activists. But no worries, as seed keepers know, we can always eat our mistakes! Indigenous Seed Keepers Network: This film digs into the fertile soil where seeds grow, building a vibrant and vital foundation for food sovereignty, and seeding the basis for a sustainable, healthy agriculture. As a national network, we leverage resources and cultivate solidarity and communication within the matrix of regional grass-roots tribal seed sovereignty projects. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. WELRP manages a school garden program that hires three garden managers, mothers of youth at three reservation schools: Pine Point, Circle of Life Academy, and Naytahwaush. The Seed Keepers trainings are focused on empowering and equipping indigenous leaders with the tools and knowledge on how to re-integrate seed stewardship back into their communities and create sustainable projects and programs that focus on tribal seed sovereignty. ISKN has a mission to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island. As a national network, we leverage resources and cultivate solidarity and communication within the matrix of regional grass-roots tribal seed sovereignty projects. Long before the regenerative agriculture movement started preaching the value of seed saving, the practice was a crucial part of growing food and environmental stewardship for Indigenous peoples. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island (North America). The calls between growers including Greendeer and White were intended to share information and best practices about the seeds and plants they were growing. We are working with tribal communities in collaboration with other non-profit organizations to revitalize native food systems as well as the rich cultural knowledge and practices that go with traditional food ways. She teaches creative seed training immersions around the country within tribal and small farming … Welcome Seedkeepers! The assessment focuses on the specific seed security problems communities face, and then steers response to actions which assist in improving access as well as systems. The Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance (NAFSA) supports Native communities nationally with advocacy, education, and networking as they revitalize their indigenous food systems. We will also empower these emerging agricultural leaders to engage their communities in the necessary conversations around food and seed literacy. This year in Callaway, we have added 6 raised beds for youth from the Callaway Boys and Girls Club. She is the director and founder of Sierra Seeds, an organic seed cooperative focusing on local seed production and education, based in Nevada City, California. So the word rematriation reflects the restoration of the feminine seeds back into the communities of origin. Through this project, dedicated Indigenous seed keepers in "Canada" are coming together to collaboratively grow out Indigenous seed varieties in the 2020 growing season. BY: Ft. Berthold College. In a world where the hybrid seed has become a norm, it is important for seed keepers to continue to ensure that varieties of indigenous plants and vegetables are available for posterity! 11/27/2015. You can’t grow a garden without seeds. women farm and plant seeds, but their care and stewardship are part of the women’s, bundle of responsibility. This is what inspired Iowa State University’s Three Sisters Gardening Project. Jessika Greendeer, a seed keeper, member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and farm manager at Dream of Wild Health, a Minneapolis-based Native food sovereignty organization, says that the cooperative started with monthly phone calls. Through the Indigenous Seed Mentorship Initiative, we will assist in the reclamation of a critical aspect of indigenous culture by helping communities to revitalize traditional seeds and food. We understand that seeds are our precious collective inheritance and it is our responsibility to care for the seeds as part of our responsibility to feed and nourish ourselves and future generations. BY: White Earth Land Recovery Project. …These Seed Keeper trainings are an honoring song for our collective and ancient cultural memories that still resonate in our blood and bones and for these time honored agreements we have made with the plants who nourish us: we will take care of you and you will take care of us. Reuniting Indigenous communities with their ancestral seeds — and teaching them how to cultivate the resulting plants — could help reverse some of the disastrous health effects from generations of reliance on commodity food and rations, the activist Rowen White, a member of the Mohawk Nation and founder of the seed conservation collective Sierra Seeds, told Civil Eats in 2017. by Linda Spade. blogger . Environmental Justice in Arlington, Texas. coming back home to communities of origin, from the vaults of public institutions, seed banks, universities, seed keeper collections, and some lying on dusty pantry. Harvest Squash. Copyright © 2014-2020 Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance - All Rights Reserved, Across Turtle Island, there is a growing inter-generational movement of, Indigenous people proud to carry the message of the grand rematriation of seeds, and foods back into our Indigenous communities. In honor of the grand lineage of Seedkeepers who have faithfully passed down seeds for our nourishment, we make restored commitment to care for these precious seeds for those yet to come. We support the creation of solutions-oriented programs for adaptive resilient seed systems within tribal communities to enhance the creative capacity to continue to evolve as the face of our Mother Earth changes. BY: Ft. Berthold College. These gatherings and workshops are a story of healing through many generations. Circle members are increasing Indigenous seed supply with the aim of creating a regional, collectively-governed seed hub. We are still here. Rowen White, the chair of its board, helped to start the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network, which focuses on rematriating seeds to tribal communities, among other measures. So the word rematriation reflects the restoration of the, feminine seeds back into the communities of origin. Angela Ferguson is a Traditional Corn Grower from the Onondaga Nation and she is also the founder of Braiding the Sacred, which is a network of indigenous corn keepers that are assisting Indigenous Nations in Turtle Island by uniting them with sacred seeds and traditional food sources. The Indigenous concept of rematriation can also encompass the reclaiming of ancestral remains, spirituality, culture, knowledge, and resources. In the seed movement, we have begun to use the word rematriation, instead of the more patriarchal repatriation, as it relates to bringing these seeds home again. Relationships and partnerships are being developed to ensure that communities who have been absent of their seeds are reunited with them, and that in many cases those seeds are then reunited with their ancestral soil. Members of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network explain the cultural importance of access to traditional seed varieties. Here’s How You Can Become One Too! My name is Terrylynn Brant and my traditional Mohawk name is Sera:sera. Rowen's passion is in teaching and mentoring, and has developed many curricula which focus on holistic, indigenous permaculture based approach to seed stewardship which honors the many layers of seed culture; from practical hands on skills, cultural … 03. The Indigenous Seed Keepers Network (ISKN) is partnering with USC Canada to steward this project. Through mentorship and education, we empower and strengthen community members ability to not only grow good seed in their communities but also grow the next generation of seed stewards and protectors. We aim to create a collaborative framework and declaration for ethical seed stewardship and indigenous seed guidelines for tribal communities to guide them as they protect their seeds from patenting and bio-piracy. The group also leads the CGIAR Research Programs on Maize and Wheat and the Excellence in Breeding Platform to characterize … We offer facilitation and mentorship, but aim to craft the trainings, so that they are highlighting the inherent leaders and mentors that already exist in these communities, and bring people together to engage in powerful dialogue about the restoration of traditional food and seedways. (North America). land of their births, their ancestral grounds. When North America was colonised, the relationship of indigenous people with food was also colonised. This Seed Keeper Preserves Over 500 Rare Varieties. We accomplish this mission by providing educational resources, mentorship training, outreach and advocacy support on seed policy issues, and organizing national and regional events and convenings to connect many communities who are engaging in this vital work. The Indigenous Seed Keepers Network formalized those relationships, says its director, Rowen White. While the educational spaces that we cultivate at Sierra Seeds invite in people of diverse backgrounds, I have channeled some of the work that I have developed into a legacy initative called “Indigenous Seedkeepers Network.”  In 2016, I approached Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance with an invitation for a collaborative endeavor that would ensure a common legacy for the seed sovereignty work that many of us indigenous seedkeepers here in North America were embarking upon. In honor of the grand lineage of Seedkeepers who have faithfully passed down seeds for our nourishment, we make restored commitment to care for these precious seeds for those yet to come. We are still vibrant. can continue to fulfill their original agreement to help feed the people. Seeds are a vibrant and vital foundation for food sovereignty, and are the basis for a sustainable, healthy agriculture. This work complements community initiatives that focus on the cultural restoration of relationships that is inherent in agricultural revitalization. We accomplish this mission by providing educational resources, mentorship training, outreach and advocacy support on seed policy issues, and organizing national and regional events and convenings to connect many communities who are engaging in this vital work. for loving hands to patiently place them into welcoming soil once more so that they. All across Turtle Island (North America) we are seeing a great resurgence of indigenous tribes building healthy and resilient food systems as a cornerstone to cultural and ecological renewal programs, as well as a means to reclaim indigenous economies and true economic and political sovereignty. Across Turtle Island, there is a growing inter-generational movement of Indigenous people proud to carry the message of the grand rematriation of seeds and foods back into our Indigenous communities. Members of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network explain the cultural importance of access to traditional seed varieties. Wisdom Keepers facilitates spontaneous and profound shifts by enabling global audiences to appreciate and understand … 11/27/2015. We aim to create a collaborative framework and declaration for ethical seed stewardship and indigenous seed guidelines for tribal communities to guide them as they protect their seeds from patenting and bio-piracy. Indigenous Seed Library Keepers of the seeds… A set of federal policies—including land alienation—in both Canada and the United States has caused the loss of our traditional seeds and foods. The Alliance of Native Seedkeepers seeks out a future where indigenous peoples may live with the security of food, health, culture, environment, unity, and justice. The Seed Sovereignty Assessment toolkit will assist Native communities in their efforts to reclaim their local and traditional seed systems. Some of these seeds have been missing from our communities for centuries, carried on long journeys in smoky buckskin pouches, on the necks of peoples who were forced to relocate from the land of their births, their ancestral grounds. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island. True Indigenous varieties are being revitalized and rematriated in cooperation with tribes and seed keepers — restoring this vital component of Indigenous culture where it rightfully belongs. ISKN is a shade tree of support to the essential work of regional and tribal seed initiatives, as we offer a diverse array of resources aimed at nourishing and supporting a vibrant indigenous seed movement, as a complement to the growing Food Sovereignty movement within Indian country. Seed revitalization programs are entirely different from commercial operations that create new hybrids for confetti value. work—developing new ceremonies and protocols to welcome home these relatives, as well as acknowledging the elders who have worked for so long to make this, Virtual Indigenous Agro-Biodiversity Fair. Seed banks may be another resource for securing Indigenous seed, although these banks have other missions as well. 520 likes. Generations later, these seeds are now coming back home to communities of origin, from the vaults of public institutions, seed banks, universities, seed keeper collections, and some lying on dusty pantry shelves of foresighted elders, seeds patiently sleeping and dreaming. Wisdom Keepers provides a platform at festivals for Elders and spiritual leaders from indigenous communities and Wisdom traditions around the world to share their stories and techniques, and to collectively vision a more conscious, peaceful, and sustainable world.. News Story on new seed 02. These laws limited our ability to sell our crops to non-Indians living in Manitoba. As a national network, we leverage resources and cultivate solidarity and communication within the matrix of regional grass-roots tribal seed sovereignty projects. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island (North America). 05. of the more patriarchal repatriation, as it relates to bringing these seeds home again. Indigenous food sovereignty is fundamentally achieved by upholding our sacred responsibility to nurture healthy, interdependent relationships with the land, plants and animals that provide us with our food.”. It assesses both availability and access to seeds of adequate quality. In the seed movement, we have begun to use the word rematriation, instead. Our core services are centered on farmer education and mentorship. The Seed Sovereignty Assessment reviews the functions of seed systems in communities through both formal and informal usages. I am Turtle Clan of the Mohawk Nation of Grand River. The Indigenous Seed Keepers Alliance (ISKA) will provide access to seeds, growing techniques, cultural knowledge, and indigenous values for seed keeping. But Native communities often lack access to resources such as farming equipment, soil testing, fertilizer and pest prevention techniques. Indigenous Seed Keepers Alliance. Our Mentor program for seed stewardship is rooted in the restoration of relationships between communities and their seeds. SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers intent on protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. shelves of foresighted elders, seeds patiently sleeping and dreaming. This process, often entails policy documents and negotiations, but also spiritual and emotional. Initiatives such as Project Grow, the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network and Native Seed Network all focus on the importance of growing food as a way to build community and promote wellness. In many communities, including our Mohawk tradition, the responsibility of caring for. Rowen is the National Program Coordinator for the Indigenous Seed Keeper Network, which is an initiative of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at leveraging resources to support tribal food sovereignty projects. We understand that seeds are our precious collective inheritance and it is our responsibility to care for the seeds as part of our responsibility to feed and nourish ourselves and future generations. indigenous tribes of the mountainous Cordillera region in the northern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines placed their fate in the hands of chosen women. “Sacred or Divine Sovereignty- Food is a gift from the Creator; in this respect the right to food is sacred and cannot be constrained or recalled by colonial laws, policies and institutions. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network (ISKN) is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island ( North America). Members of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network explain the cultural importance of access to traditional seed varieties. We support the creation of solutions oriented programs for adaptive resilient seed systems within tribal communities to enhance the creative capacity to continue to evolve as the face of our Mother Earth changes. hello squash people 04. We design, facilitate and implement Seed Stewardship Mentorship training that is culturally appropriate. Research revealed this nitrogen-fixing, humble member of the legume family turns out to be an Ayurvedic panacea. As a national network, ISKN leverages resources and cultivates solidarity among grass-roots tribal seed sovereignty projects. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), maintains seed banks and programs to preserve seeds native to specific regions. The Indigenous Seed Keepers Network is helping leverage resources for indigenous communities cultivating culturally appropriate solutions to restoring seed stewardship of traditional foods. This resource will help demystify the diverse and dynamic process of creating a vibrant regional and culturally relevant community seed project and help identify the steps needed to create resilient seed stewardship mentorship networks. Both men and women farm and plant seeds, but their care and stewardship are part of the women’s bundle of responsibility. Winona's story. Winona LaDuke's story of the origins to create a regional indigenous seed keepers' network. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network (ISKN) is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island ( North America). rematriation can also encompass the reclaiming of ancestral remains, spirituality, culture, knowledge, and resources. As a national network, we leverage resources and cultivate solidarity and communication within the matrix of regional grass-roots tribal seed sovereignty projects. Informal usages and vital foundation for food sovereignty and are the basis for a,. 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