Project Description Narrative:
Due to the abrupt disruption of cultural lifeways, the Great Lakes indigenous tribes have limited access to healthy food and suffer from food insecurity. As a result, the Great Lakes tribes now have the poorest health outcomes in Wisconsin. The transition to reservation life also introduced food rations to the nations, far from what the nations had known. This project seeks to reclaim the health benefits, sustainability, and resiliency of lost systems.
The goal is to utilize the Tribal Elder Food Box program to demonstrate the feasibility of an intertribal agriculture and food cooperative and to increase access to healthy, indigenous, and traditional foods in Wisconsin tribal communities. The project development team has identified the following strategies to accomplish its goal: 1) Hire a dedicated intertribal food system coordinator; 2) Conduct an opportunity assessment; and 3) Conduct digital storytelling for outreach and recruitment.
These strategies are distinct but complementary to other efforts that provide funding for food, transportation, re-pack costs of the Tribal Elder Food Box program, and funding for equipment needs, outreach, food storage, distribution, and addressing the legal infrastructure aspects of the cooperative.
Each effort independently strives to achieve the shared vision of an intertribal agriculture and food cooperative as complementary parts of this process.
Community partners: Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Intertribal Agriculture Council, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Menominee Nation, Oneida Nation, Red Cliff Nation, University of Wisconsin- Madison, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin Food Hub