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In the United States, there are 573 distinct federally recognized tribal nations, so the communities covered by the phrase “Indian Country” are many and varied. So too are the innovations that are emerging from these communities. This webinar, recorded on November 21, 2019, shows how Native American activists are building food hubs, creating marketplaces that feature indigenous foods, and restructuring markets so that Native artisans and producers achieve far greater benefit from their labor.

Following the interview, NPQ Senior Editor Steve Dubb facilitates a panel with three expert speakers: Nick Hernandez, Lakota, Director of Makoce Agriculture Development (Pine Ridge, South Dakota); LeAnn Littlewolf, Ojibwe, Economic Development Director of the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) in Duluth, Minnesota; and Hayes Lewis, Zuni Pueblo, Executive Director of A:shiwi College and Career Readiness Center (near Gallup, New Mexico).

This webinar explores:

  • Strategies for rebuilding food sovereignty and rediscovering pre-contact indigenous foods.
  • Ways to build urban-rural links in the food system, including food hubs and urban markets where food that is produced can be sold at a fair price.
  • How to use a training center to restructure markets (using co-ops and other structures) to help Native practitioners earn the true value of their labor.
  • The importance of linking economic development and cultural strategies.
  • Methods to address trauma and the legacy of genocide and colonialism.
  • Areas where the experiences in Indian Country might inform broader efforts to build community wealth and address inequality in the US economy as a whole.

Follow-up Reading Materials and Links:

Martin Jennings, Northwest Area Foundation, Native CDFI program:

LeAnn Littlewolf, American Indian Community Housing Organization
(Niiwin Indigenous Food Market)

Nick Hernandez, Makoce Agriculture Development

Hayes Lewis, A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center

Additional resource recommended by LeAnn Littlewolf:
A Guide to Tribal Co-operative Development (published by the Minnesota Indigenous Business Alliance)

Watch all the previous webinars of NPQ’s Remaking the Economy series here.