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Some Reflections on Indigenous Peoples' Day, October, 2020

Chrys Ostrander, A-dae Romero-Briones

1) Some Reflections on Indigenous Peoples' Day, October, 2020

2)  On Indigenous Peoples' Day, one indigenous farmer asks, How Diverse is the Organic Movement? 

Some Reflections on Indigenous Peoples' Day, October, 2020


Dan Nanamkin and volunteers prepare the Young Warriors Society permaculture garden for winter.  I am grateful to have been invited by Dan Nanamkin of the Okanogan People to help with his community food resiliency project in Nespelem, WA. In October, on the eve of Indigenous Peoples' Day, a group of folks who had attended the Inland Northwest Permaculture Guild's Idaho Convergence in September joined Dan and some of his friends at Dan's home, otherwise known as the Young Warrior Society Sovereignty Camp, on the Colville Indian Reservation. We worked to prep the community garden there for the winter, add a new section of keyhole beds to the garden, spread manure, build a compost bin, plant some perennials and preserve a bounty of food the garden had produced plus some that had been donated to the Camp. This picture is of Dan and volunteers working into the evening in the community garden. This past season, Dan's garden has been contributing food to impacted tribe members whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID and who lost their homes in the fires that swept through part of the reservation this year.

From the Tribal Tribune newspaper, Sep 11, 2018: [Dan] recalls a family story that during The Great Depression, his ancestors in Inchelium didn’t even know there was a depression.
“They rolled their sleeves up, they worked together, they knew how to sustain themselves with the food and the land,” Nanamkin said. “With (The Trump) administration, what happens if we can’t afford food? We’ve got to go back to living on the land, helping each other, eliminate the barriers of racism. We open up to what the possibilities are. All these people, all these tribes, they come from different places to help. We come together with love. We come together with passion. We come together with good intention.
“My heart is within this to provide for our people so we can return back to our traditional ways — to the land, to each other.”
Video of the work party:
Banjo by Joseph. Song by Dan Nanamkin accompanied by Dario Re. Field Recorded at the 10th Annual Inland Northwest Permaculture Convergence, Sept. 2020.
  • Chrys Ostrander, Publisher, Inland FoodWise Online

On Indigenous Peoples' Day, one indigenous farmer asks, How Diverse is the Organic Movement?


Essay by A-dae Romero-Briones of the Yoche Dehe independent, self-governed tribal nation in California.A-dae Romero-Briones, is photographed at the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation in the Capay Valley, CA. Published by the Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA.
"...In accordance with market values, organic certification is aimed at individual land owners. In dominant food systems, this individual landownership is extended to corporations recognized as persons. Even the most basic of understandings of agriculture and food systems begins with inequality—land ownership.
Discussions in the organic world revolve around the practices of individual farmers, their certifications and inspections, and their place in the organic marketplace ... Organic farming is almost a mirror reflection of the mainstream food system in organic farm ownership and operation. As a result, conversations in the organic community are centered on the understandings of white landowners and their understandings of their land holdings, farming practices, and an anthropocentric worldview. Yet, human dominion over land is the pedagogical base that is failing us and our environment. How do we become an organic community that is inclusive, responsive, and in better relationship with our environment, given the limitation of capitalism?"
Read the full article.
October, 2020