Friday, November 13, 2015

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Every day across the country, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian farmers, ranchers, food systems advocates, and Tribal government officials strive to improve the health and vitality of their people, feed their communities, and bring quality food products to people from coast to coast—and beyond! With 56 million+ acres of land in food production in Indian Country, the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative highlights today what many Native producers already know—Native people are a dynamic force in American agriculture. That is true today just as it was true in the days pre-contact, when rich Native foodways as diverse and plentiful as the people who cultivated them spread across this wide continent.

Though the Initiative continually celebrates the hard work and accomplishments of those who keep Native food and agriculture going strong, we are proud to participate in Native American Heritage Month every November so we can make special recognition of their efforts, their sacrifices, and their deep commitment to the health of their food systems, people, and communities. 

To Native producers, who labor tirelessly each day to cultivate the plants and care for the animals that become the food that nourishes us;

To Native food systems advocates, who revitalize health, communities, and culture with a return to traditional foods and foodways;

To Tribal government officials, who recognize the extraordinary importance of supporting healthy food and resilient food systems through laws and policies;

And to our youth, who represent the future of all our communities:

The Initiative staff extends our deepest gratitude, this month and in all months, for the work that you do. We are proud to support you as you support the rest of us.