Formation of New ‘Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance’ Moving Ahead
Following Introductory Webinar That Drew Nearly 200 National Participants
LONGMONT, Colorado (Feb. 4, 2012) – A new Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance is actively being formed following a successful introductory webinar about the effort that was held on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, and which attracted nearly 200 interested parties from across the U.S.
First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), based in Longmont, and the Taos County Economic Development Corporation (TCEDC), based in Taos, New Mexico, held the webinar and are working jointly to create the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, or NAFSA. TCEDC will be the lead coordinator (as a grantee of First Nations). Funding for the alliance effort was provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which also underwrites numerous other Native agriculture and food-related projects through First Nations.
NAFSA is intended to become a sustainable and organized movement that is Native American driven and controlled, nationally active and dedicated to addressing food security, hunger and nutrition in Native American communities at the national, tribal and local levels. Overall, the goal of NAFSA is to develop a national movement that gives voice to issues of Native food-system control and policy development, and which serves as a strong network for collaboration among various organizations engaged in Native food-system control. The organizers see the new entity as crucial in the areas of health, nutrition and cultural identity, of course, but also believe the reclaiming of control over Native food systems will promote further economic development in Native communities.
First Nations and TCEDC will move ahead with developing a leadership structure, vision and mission statements, goals and objectives, and other materials for NAFSA, as well as enlisting formal members. The first in-person meeting of interested parties will take place during the separate Food Sovereignty Summit in Green Bay, Wisconsin, April 15-18, 2013, an event that is jointly sponsored by First Nations, the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Intertribal Agriculture Council and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Those interested in attending the summit can find details at www.firstnations.org/summit. Those interested in attending the NAFSA meeting can go here for more information.
First Nations’ support of this effort is a progression of its larger work to help Native American communities control assets. Under its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative, First Nations funds numerous projects across the U.S. and is supported in the effort by visionary funding partners that include the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, AARP Foundation, Walmart Foundation, The Christensen Fund, the CHS Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Advocacy and Outreach, and the USDA’s Rural Development program.
Anyone interested in funding crucial food-systems work in American Indian communities should contact Sarah EchoHawk, executive vice president of First Nations.
Randy Blauvelt, Senior Communications Officer, First Nations Development Institute
(303) 774-7836 x25