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Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Increasing concerns about the health of the land, the health of the waters, the health of natural communities, the ways our food is grown, the quality of that food, and the health of our bodies are shared by many across the continent.

Among tribal communities, interests in improving health and economic well being and in exploring traditional food ways and culture are especially keen. Food sovereignty, having a sustainable food system that offers us choices and a measure of independence, is a key concern here and a topic that dominates conversations in homes, at community gatherings, and at conferences. Many new initiatives to address food sovereignty in its many forms are springing to life from coast to coast. At CMN we are addressing the interrelated food sovereignty issues via research, extension, and education.

The overall goal for sustainable agriculture research at CMN’s Sustainable Development Institute is improved health and wellbeing for the Native Nations we serve (Menominee, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans, Oneida) and the lands and waters with which we live. We use our Model of Sustainability and ongoing community engagement to guide us in studying the production and use of food and other natural products that grow or can be raised here.

Current research objectives are focused upon better understanding ancient raised bed techniques for growing major traditional crops. Our studies are carried out in relevant and rigorous experiments performed on site. Then we share that information with our students and with the entire community via workshops, field events, our webpage, the CMN Department of Continuing Education, and UW Extension. We also present our results at national meetings to share our results with other scientists and farmers across the country.

We welcome visitors to peruse our current work among these pages and in person at the SDI facility on the south end of campus. Your input is always welcome.