Rematriating Indigenous Seeds

Native communities have grown and saved seeds for countless generations.  Many of these historic seeds have been lost in recent decades, but efforts led by the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network are helping to bring back both knowledge required to save these seeds and the actual seeds themselves.

A partnership with Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) based in Decorah, Iowa reviewed SSE’s 33,000+ seed collection, finding over 1,000 seeds with direct connections to Native communities.  Twenty-five of these seeds were chosen for growing in 2018, with the resulting seed harvest then going back to the communities from which these seeds originated.

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The first seed rematration through this effort occurred at the conclusion of the Southwest Intertribal Food Summit when seeds and a full squash were returned to the governor and elders of Taos Pueblo.  While Taos Pueblo growers grow a number of types of squash, seeds from this historic squash variety have crossed with other squashes over the years, so this historic variety had been lost but is now returned.

Upcoming Events

The Mobile Farmers Market’s upcoming schedule includes:

  • MOSES Organic Farming Conference – Feb. 24-25 • LaCrosse, WI
  • Indigenous Farming Conference – March 3-6 • White Earth, MN
  • Food Sovereignty Symposium & Festival – March 10-12 • Madison, WI
  • Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit – April 19-12 • Gun Lake Pottawatomi, MI

Here’s more information on the Food Sovereignty Symposium & Festival and Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit that are hosted by the Intertribal Agriculture Council.

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Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit

The Intertribal Agriculture Council and the Gun Lake Pottawatomi Tribe are hosting the Spring 2017 Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit from April 19-23 at Gun Lake’s Jijak facility.  Please visit the event website if you want to share feedback on what you’d like to see as part of the event or if you want to get involved.

Chef applications are currently being accepted, with those received by November 30th receiving priority.

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Upcoming Events, TSA, and Store Hours

The Native Market and Gallery, a fixed store location at 1732 Fordem Avenue in Madison, WI, is open from 4:00-7:00pm every Wednesday, as well as when staff are present.  We’re working on expanding regular hours in the near future.  In addition to the Indigenous foods inventory, the store carries an expanding assortment of Native jewelry and art, and is also home to the Intertribal Agriculture Council’s regional office that provides technical assistance to American Indian agricultural producers.

Check the schedule page for upcoming market and special events.  We’ve got a food booth again at this year’s Taste of Madison (still looking for additional volunteers) on Labor Day weekend, and will be at farmers markets throughout the summer.  The van won’t be on the road as much as previous years due to staffing constraints, but check back for more info on a possible tour later this summer.

We are also excited to announce our new regional TSA (Tribally Supported Agriculture) shares ($25 and $50/month options) and TSA ordering website where you can now place orders online.  We are recruiting pick-up sites across the region where we’ll ship combined orders on a monthly basis to reduce shipping costs.  TSA customers will have access to unique, limited-quantity items like Jijak’s Maple Vinegar.

Mobile Seed Library

The Mobile Seed Library is a new effort intended to make high quality seeds more available throughout the Great Lakes region. We will be distributing seeds through the mobile farmers market, at special events, and in partnership with community distribution sites. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a community distribution site.

This effort is made possible by support from First Nations Development Institute, Seeds of Change, Seed Savers Exchange, and the Intertribal Agriculture Council.






 

Holiday Gift Boxes

We are still accepting orders for holiday gift boxes featuring Native foods until Friday, December 18th for delivery before Christmas.  Pick-up (Madison, WI) or expedited shipping orders will have a couple more days.

This year’s basic gift box features a half pound of Spirit Lake Native Products wild rice, a bottle of wild berry or maple syrup, and a jar of wild berry jam from Red Lake Nation Foods.  The total cost is only $25, plus shipping.

Click on the PDF file link at the bottom of this post to enter your order in a fillable form.

mobile market gift box order form 2015

mobile market gift box order form 2015