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Food/Agriculture

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A key philanthropic organization dedicated to Native American agriculture has joined the U.S. Nature4Climate coalition. 

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Owamni, an Indigenous-owned restaurant in Minneapolis, Minn., has been named the best new restaurant in the country in this year’s prestigious James Beard Foundation awards, which also honored a film involving First Nations Development Institute that was co-produced by Sterlin Harjo of Reservation Dogs fame.

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MOUNTAIN CENTER, Calif. — The Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians may have “broken barriers” for tribes to get into hemp by securing a federal loan guarantee to build a new grow facility. 

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The Intertribal Agriculture Council’s American Indian Foods program is driven by the mission to grow the available markets for Native-made products.

Oftentimes, that means helping producers get to trade shows or assisting them with access to market research. But the First Nations Trade Mission at the end of May presents American Indian Foods with an opportunity to broaden export services to a “new market” for Indigenous food producers, Program Director Latashia Redhouse told Tribal Business News.

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MISSION, S.D. — In March 2020, the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation, the economic development arm of the Rosebud Sioux tribe, launched the Wolakota Regenerative Buffalo Range across 28,000 acres of land.

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JEMEZ PUEBLO, N.M. — The advent of COVID-19 devastated food supply lines across the United States, leaving grocery store shelves bare and people scrambling to make ends meet. 

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Native American Agriculture Fund has begun requesting applications for its 2022 round of grantmaking. 

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The Farm Credit Administration has pledged to collaborate with the Native American Agriculture Fund in its efforts to improve Native producers’ access to credit.

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More than 1,000 years ago, the Anishinaabek were prompted by a prophecy to travel west in search of the land where food grows on water. They left what is now New Brunswick, Maine, traversing the St. Lawrence River until it opened into the Great Lakes region, where they discovered wild rice and their new home. They named the plentiful rice “manoomin,” and it became a cultural centerpiece to Anishinaabek life. 

But the once-plentiful manoomin has been significantly diminished because of habitat loss and degradation tied to logging and industrial uses of Michigan’s waterways.

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As food supply chain disruptions prompted many tribes to seek out ways to better control their own food systems, Native advocates are turning their attention to barriers that frequently prevent Native producers from serving their own communities.