Resource Guide for Celebrating Sukkot and Indigenous People’s Day
Sukkot (the Jewish festival for harvest) and Indigenous People’s Day (to honor Native American cultures and histories) often fall closely in the calendar. As the Jewish community reflects on themes of harvest, scarcity, peoplehood, and food justice, MAZON invites you to learn more about — and join us in the movement to support — Indigenous food sovereignty.
MAZON’s longstanding partnerships in Indian Country center around the development of robust food and agriculture systems that support the ability of Tribal Nations to feed themselves — policies that enhance Tribal food sovereignty and self-governance, and that reclaim traditional foodways. MAZON has worked alongside Indigenous advocates and Tribes to transform U.S. federal food programs and policies to meet these goals, which are a central tenet of the Tribal food sovereignty movement. We believe that Tribes know best what it takes to address the immense hunger and nutrition issues affecting their own communities.
As you build and enjoy time in your sukkah, we encourage you and your guests to reflect on the following questions:
- As we celebrate Sukkot, a holiday centering the land and the harvest, ask: Whose Native land do you occupy? (If you do not know, please enter your address here and learn more with this Land Acknowledgement Guide.)
- As we highlight the traditional seven species (pomegranates, figs, barley, wheat, grapes, olives, and dates), ask: What foods are native to your area and precious to Indigenous communities? What foods are precious to you? How does food define you and your community? Consider hanging foods native to your area in your sukkah or serving them at your table, alongside the seven species.
- As it is ingrained in our tradition to invite those who struggle with hunger into our sukkot to celebrate the bounty of the season, ask: How are Tribes reclaiming their traditional foodways (an expression of Tribal sovereignty) and striving towards food security for their people? What are the barriers that Indigenous communities continue to face in that effort?
- Learn more about how hunger impacts Indigenous communities and how Tribal Nations are reclaiming Tribal food sovereignty:
- Read and share Audrey’s Story in your sukkah.
- Learn about how MAZON is Improving Food Security and Sovereignty in Indian Country.
- Learn about how MAZON is “Expanding Partnerships to Strengthen Tribal Food Sovereignty.”
- Watch MAZON’s recent webinar, “Revitalization from Destruction — The Movement to Protect Indigenous Food Systems.”
- Urge Congress to Reintroduce the Tribal Nutrition Improvement Act, which would enable Tribes to administer child nutrition programs and allow more culturally appropriate food to be available.
- Learn more about discussing and engaging with Indigenous communities from a place of informed allyship:
- From our partners at National Congress of American Indians: Allies for Indian Country: Learn about Tribal Nations, Citizenship, History, and Contemporary Issues
- From our partners at IllumiNative: Native Now Campaign Discussion Guide
- From the Self-Governance Communication and Education Tribal Consortium: Reclaiming Native Truth: Changing The Narrative About Native Americans – A Guide For Allies
- From the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, “Intersections of Identity: The Jewish Indigenous Experience”
- Explore Indigenous food excellence and artistry:
- Cook from Maria Gladstone’s acorn squash recipe, which was featured in the Cookbook for To Life!: MAZON at 36.
- Learn more about American Indian Foods.
- Watch Indigikitchen, an online cooking show dedicated to re-indigenizing diets using digital media.
- Purchase The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen cookbook and explore other projects from the Sioux Chef.
Thank you for incorporating these resources into your holiday celebrations. We’d love to hear from you! Contact email@example.com with any questions or to share your reflections.