Giving Compass’ Take:
• This article from YES! Magazine argues that the resilience of food production in the face of a changing climate will depend on both traditional ecological knowledge and Western science.
• How can funders help support indigenous voices and culture especially regarding food? How does climate change and rising temperatures factor into food insecurity?
“Our seeds are more than just food for us. Yes, they are nutrition. But they’re also… spirituality,” says Electa Hare-RedCorn, a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and a Yankton descendant. “Each seed has a story and each seed has a prayer.”
With a background in social work, Hare-RedCorn was brought on to the Pawnee Seed Preservation Project in 2012 as a seed-keeper, to carry the conversation forward with youth and families. The project, she says, has since become a movement.
“Being tied to the seed work has helped me see that traditional ecological knowledge—the understanding of our connection to the soil, seeds, and our culture—it’s all intrinsically tied together,” Hare-RedCorn says. “Even if policy has definitely tried to strip that away, we still have a unique relationship with the seeds and what they mean to us.”
Hare-RedCorn fondly recalled when one particular intern joined the Pawnee Seed Preservation Project in 2016. Hare-RedCorn explained to her that everybody is a part of agriculture and the food system in some way—we consume food; we grow food; we wear clothing from fibers; we prepare food for others. And then she asked the incoming intern: “How, at this moment, are you part of this?” to which the intern replied, “Well, I eat.”
Read the full article about the importance of seeds by Breanna Draxler at YES! Magazine.
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