Tribal citizens harvest wild rice in Minnesota. Photo from National Museum of the American Indian
The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative has received a grant of nearly $190,000. The $189,983 grant comes from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The money will be used to study the link between tribal food policy and community health. “Tribal nations are moving toward reclaiming healthy food access and food production, and an important part of exercising this sovereign power is through policy development,” said Janie Simms Hipp, a member of the Chickasaw Nation who serves as director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law. To carry out the study, the initiative has brought on three prominent tribal citizens as partners. Crystal Echo Hawk, a member of the Pawnee Nation; Wilson Pipestem, a member of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe; and Valerie Segrest, a member of the Muckleshoot Tribe, will help researchers collect information that tribes can use to make their own decisions. The study will look at the ways ways tribal communities use food sovereignty assessments. It also will analyze current and historic food systems, including those offered by the federal government.
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