From Erasure to Resilience: The Future of Food Security and Food Sovereignty

November 19, 2020

For thousands of years before European contact, indigenous peoples enjoyed self-sufficiency and self-determination. After land seizures and forced relocations many Tribes lost the ability to sustain themselves. Colonialism, structural racism and failed US federal policies have led to Native Americans suffering some of the highest rates of poverty, food insecurity, and diet-related diseases. The ongoing Native-led efforts to achieve food security and food sovereignty across Indian Country are and have always been urgent in a post-colonial world – and recent events have thrown that need into stark relief and brought the priorities of Indian Country into the national conversation. This panel featured advocates who defy the persistence of Native invisibility, harness the resilience of Tribal Nations today, and lift up the promise of Native food systems and agriculture. This wide-ranging discussion touched on the perception of Native communities in the public policy arena, historical and contemporary effects of federal food policies in Indian Country, and the ways Native communities are asserting food sovereignty and holding the U.S. government accountable for the obligations owed to Tribes determined to feed their citizens.

Mia Hubbard, Vice President of Programs, MAZON
Colby Duren, Director of Policy and Government Relations, Intertribal Agriculture Council
Crystal Echo Hawk, Executive Director, IllumiNative
Maria Givens, Communications and Public Relations Director, Native American Agriculture Fund