All My Relations Podcast

Ep #2: Food Sovereignty: A Growing Movement

March 02, 2019 Season 1 Episode 2
All My Relations Podcast
Ep #2: Food Sovereignty: A Growing Movement
Chapters
All My Relations Podcast
Ep #2: Food Sovereignty: A Growing Movement
Mar 02, 2019 Season 1 Episode 2
Matika Wilbur & Adrienne Keene
This episode explores the ways communities, activists, and researchers are working towards food sovereignty and revitalizing indigenous foods systems. Our conversation with Valerie explores our connection to traditional plant systems, feeding ourselves traditional foods when our hunting and gathering grounds are now the supermarket, and her own journey back to her culture through foods.
Show Notes Transcript

Are you truly sovereign if you can’t feed yourselves? Today we delve into a topic we can all relate to! We all got to eat! But how are we eating, or better, WHAT are we eating?  And how has colonization disrupted our relationship with our traditional foods? 

That is why today’s discussion on food sovereignty is so important because we all know that colonialism destroyed our food systems, sometimes on purpose and sometimes as a byproduct of other colonial policies— But separating Native peoples from the way we traditionally ate and harvested was a very effective tool of colonization.

Fortunately, we are living in a time of reconnection and revitalization— and our there are many people throughout turtle island who are doing this good food sovereignty work. Listen in, as we bring in our amazing guest Valerie Segrest to discuss the  definition of food sovereignty; learn how breastfeeding supports the food sovereignty movement; and how all of us, even if it is just in tiny ways, can become food sovereignty activists. 

Valerie Segrest is a Native nutrition educator who specializes in local and traditional foods. As a member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, she serves her community as coordinator of the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Projectand also works as Traditional Foods and Medicines Program Manager.

In 2010, Valerie co-authored “Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture.” Valerie received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University, and a Masters Degree in Environment and Community from Antioch University. She is also a fellow for the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy. Valerie aims to inspire and enlighten others about the importance of a nutrient-dense diet through a culturally appropriate, common sense approach to eating.

Related Resources

https://gardenwarriorsgoodseeds.com/ 

https://sioux-chef.com/ 

Twitter thread of indigenous foods you can buy! https://twitter.com/NativeApprops/status/1072525570716651521 

Camas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camassia 

Decolonizing Diet project: http://decolonizingdietproject.blogspot.com

The Pueblo Food Experience: https://shumakolowa.com/products/pueblo-food-experience-cookbook-whole-food-of-our-ancestors 

Billy Frank: http://billyfrankjr.org/ 



Support the show

Speaker 1:
0:02
Hi, I'm a tikka. I belonged to this witness and till they let people. I'm a photographer and the creative project five, six, two and I'm Adrian. I'm a citizen of the Cherokee nation, a scholar and the writer behind the blog, native appropriations. This is all my relations. We have a beautiful episode for Y'all because this is a topic that is so true to our bellies and something we can all relate to. We all got to eat, but how are we eating or better? What are we eating and how has colonization disrupted our relationship with our traditional foods?
Speaker 2:
0:38
That's why today's discussion on food sovereignty is so important because we all know that colonialism destroyed our food systems sometimes on purpose and sometimes as a byproduct of other colonial policies, but separating native peoples from the way that we traditionally ate and harvested was a very effective tool of colonization. Fortunately, we are living in a time of reconnection and revitalization and there are many people throughout turtle island who are doing this good food sovereignty work. Listen in as we talk with Valerie secrets on the definition of food sovereignty. Learn how breastfeeding supports the food soft movement. Yeah,
Speaker 1:
1:14
and how all of us, even if it's just in tiny ways, can become food sovereignty activists. Valerie's a native nutrition educator who specializes in local and traditional foods. As a member of the Muckleshoot Indian tribe, she serves her community as coordinator of the Muckleshoot food sovereignty project and also works as traditional foods and medicines program manager. In 2010 Valerie coauthored feeding the people, feeding the spirit, revitalizing northwest coastal Indian food culture. Valerie received a bachelor of science in nutrition from best year university and a master's in environment and community from Antioch University. She's also a fellow for the Institute of Agriculture and trade policy. Valerie aims to inspire and enlighten others about the importance of a nutrient dense diet through a culturally appropriate common sense approach to eating.
Speaker 3:
2:09
Yeah,
Speaker 1:
2:12
sorry. Oh, my relationship.
Speaker 4:
2:26
The concept that we're going with here for this entire show is understanding our relationships to one another. I relationships to land and our understanding of of our identities being primarily based in our relationships. We're wondering if you could just introduce yourself and your traditional way, maybe with like your family or your clan or your, and, and specifically talk about your purpose as it relates to the concept of all my relations.
Speaker 1:
2:55
Okay. Uh, my name is Valerie secrets. My, my father
Speaker 5:
3:00
is a patchy and Hessian from the Germanic tribes. And My mother is, um, it's a long story but she's a Cinnabon, sue and then co sailor Soso Swinomish Suquamish Snoqualmie Muckleshoot, you know, how we are here in the northwest or were, um, all my relations related to pretty much everybody. And even just, uh, introducing myself that way is a long story because she was a foster child and she was a, um, confidential adoptee case and the only person who ever kept in touch with her, uh, was Lona Wilbur, so are very close relative. And to be able to explain it, our family lineage and where we come from and the connection, the deep rooted connection with the [inaudible] family has really important to us. So like the whole idea of all my relations and somehow being brought here and your, you've always been really close to me in close proximity when you went to school for photography.
Speaker 5:
4:00
I was just like 30 minutes south in Ventura, California. So, you know, we've always been really close. But um, this is like the first time that I think we've been able to actually have a conversation professionally you work together, which is really cool. Um, and the purpose, you know, um, for me was really brought back to what our ancestors carried here. Um, and, and trying to find our identity as people who have, it's been systematically taken away from us, but then in my own family being adopted out and sort of our identity being kept from us for so long, coming back and realizing that boot is a really great place to begin has been sort of the, the guiding light and purpose and in all the work that I've been asked to carry. So that's how I would introduce myself. But it's like why at some meaningful to be here with you today?
Speaker 4:
4:58
No, I'm really glad to hear about you. I really am. I, I've been following your work really closely and um, and yet I never see you. So it's, I know, right? That's really cool. I'm really happy just to have you here and see you face to face and really get to dig into what your work is about. I think it's so important, uh, and so meaningful for so many of our people and it's impacted our communities so profoundly. Um, and at, and I'm really excited to share that work with, with other people. So I think we just want to start with the most basic question, which is also a question we could spend an entire hour just talking about, but what is food sovereignty and why is it important for native communities?
Speaker 5:
5:40
Right. And, and if you were to just simply Google food sovereignty, it would tell you it's the, the, um, La via Campesina defined it as the inherent right of people to define their own food system. And there are many different implications on how to do that. I think in the Pacific northwest and even for communities across Indian country, the term sovereignty has a different weight for us. And, um, mostly because it's sort of our method of being able to return to our, you know, original instructions. It's something that our ancestors, uh, in signing treaties and negotiating and not just seating our lands to non native people, but securing our rights to be able to harvest our foods and medicines and hunt and fish and drink clean water and use cedar trees for all the things that we've used them for for 10,000 years. Anybody would say since time began.
Speaker 5:
6:33
Um, sovereignty means a lot. It means a way of healing. It's the remedy, right? So, and it's not just something that, it just gives me chills. It's like something that we have to keep alive in everyday actions. So that can be as simple as fishing or drinking a cup of nettle tea or choosing to stand up for water rights. You know, those are all parts of strengthening sovereignty and keeping it alive. Mm hmm. That's beautiful. Could you discuss how you are practicing food sovereignty in your own life? Sure. Um, and I get this question all the time. So I actually, when I first started doing this work and I came to you, I'm Hank Gobin from the Tulalip tribe and, um, said, I've got it. Everybody just needs to eat their traditional foods and, you know, use their traditional medicines and then we'll heal everybody. That's the way it's going to be.
Speaker 5:
7:31
And he just looked at me like I was a child and was like, but nowadays, our traditional custom harvesting grounds are QFC and Safeway and Albertson's. And so how are you going to help our people, you know, strengthen their sovereignty when they're, you know, navigating those kinds of food systems. Out of that came some really thoughtful principles around how to live, you know, how to have a traditional foods diet in a modern lifestyle. And that could be as simple as eating locally, right? Like that way we're supporting a local economy, um, and we're supporting our local food producers more specifically our tribal fishermen or our hunters and gatherers. Uh, it can also be that traditional foods or whole foods that they consist of. One ingredient, you know, I don't know of any like rivers of Diet soda or shrubs of Lucky charms. Like those things just don't exist in nature.
Speaker 6:
8:31
Maybe [inaudible] wasn't right. Um,
Speaker 5:
8:37
so if you're walking through the grocery store, you know, bring your ancestors with you. And that's really what I think, you know, we tried it. We strive for, I always think are, am I making my ancestors proud and these decisions I'm making or not, or if I choose to not speak out or speak out, you know, what, what they be proud of. Um, because they've sacrificed so much in order for us to be here, which is just a total miracle when you really start to look at historical trauma and how they never met for that to define us, that it was always meant for us to acknowledge and then move on and, and get out of the survival mode and start to acknowledge the healing opportunities that we have in front of us. And that's by making, you know, doing the work you do, making people more visible, um, in a modern way. And also acknowledging the best of what was, what is available to us. Our ancestors were always really innovative people and that could be, you know, utilizing a new technology or thinking in a new way. Right.
Speaker 5:
9:40
I was really struck by in your intro talking about all of these ways that you've been connected and disconnected from your own identities as a native person. And I know for me as a scholar as well, someone who grew up away from my communities, um, that through research has been kind of a way that it offered me an entry point into that reconnection path. And I would love to hear kind of about your journey through this work. Um, kind of how it started and the ways that the research piece sort of wove its way through it as well. My mother is a retired, she's more than just a foster child, right? She's, she's a retired woman who, who used to work for the United States government. She served the troops and my father is a retired command master chief in the United States Navy. And so I spent my entire life until I was about 25 officially in the Department of defense system, like growing up in the schools in the, um, the culture of it all and not necessarily looking at my own culture because we didn't know where we were from, who we were really.
Speaker 5:
10:48
And, um, when my mom moved back to Washington state and retired, she took a job working for the chief Seattle Club. Wow. And two weeks there, she, all we knew was her mother and father's name and so she put them into the system and her mother passed away when she was eight years old, Maryland Purcell, who was the, had the Wilbur lineage. But her father Raymond strike was living three blocks away from her office in downtown Seattle in Pioneer Square, which is one of our traditional village sites actually. So there's all these like implications around just that place, that really special narrative to place. And when she met her father, he was in our life one year to the day he passed away of liver disease. And I spent that year with him traveling to different doctors to try to get him help learning the health system of a homeless man and a native man at that.
Speaker 5:
11:42
And, um, he spent his time telling me about our family from Montana and how they were medicine people that they carried great knowledge of food and tradition and that, that it was his hope for me that I would take this experience of spending this time with him and translate that into my life. And this is at a time when I was calling my mom saying, why can't you be like all the other parents would just tell me to like be a dentist or whatever. I don't know what to do with my life. And um, and so that's why I went to school to study nutrition. And I spent some time working with the Muckleshoot elders too, to try to get to know my family and what they did there, who they were and what they were all about. And our whole line had been adopted out.
Speaker 5:
12:26
So we all kind of returned at the same time. And we've all been, you know, really struggling with finding our identity in place, but the implications of it are immense. Like the medicine is just right there waiting for you. You know, right outside the door, you go stand in Camus praise. I have been there for 10,000 years or fish. The waters that our ancestors have been managing since time began. Uh, it's, it's medicine and it's the reason why I do what I do. It's sort of like really selfish, right? Because I get to learn more about who I am, where I come from, but I get to share it with people. And that is, um, yeah, that's the medicine and what it's all about. I see so many people have this like profound response to a simple cup of tea because it's just like activating through taste all your DNA, memory, senses. It's just activating all those little, um, interceptors that have been waiting for that medicine for so long. Right? Just like wakes you right up. So I think it's really important and that's what the study of epigenetics is all about. You know, our, our environment has shifted. Our DNA has responded to that. But if we can use the best of what's available now to make that shift back, then our DNA will respond. Yeah.
Speaker 4:
13:40
Sang around here. And I know you're familiar with it. They say that our spirit gets hungry. [inaudible] um, and I,
Speaker 5:
13:49
mm.
Speaker 4:
13:49
I've heard my, my, my elders have told me like, Metallica, you're behaving like your spirit is hungry. You need to come home and come to ceremony and eat some traditional foods and being around your people and it's, you need to be fed with the food that it can only be found in these regions and that your ancestors have been eating. And also not just the food in your belly, but we have to think about feeding our minds and our hearts and we have to feed them with song and with the sound of, you know, paddles on, on water and the sounds of drums beating and, and voices harmonizing. And, and once you feed yourself, you'll stop acting. So hangry. Yeah.
Speaker 7:
14:32
Know.
Speaker 4:
14:33
Um, so can you talk a little about that? Has People talk to you about that same concept? So
Speaker 5:
14:39
literally and the, you know, a very important part of that is also feeding other people. So that's something that, um, I would say Hank Gobain and I nez bill did a really good job of Pr, you know, instilling in me is, uh, every time I'd bring him some food or something, he would say, oh, you're feeding my Indian, you're going to be blessed. You know, and that, that is part of the reviving of our system is not just like we have this consumer based, a relationship with food where we go to the grocery store and it's transactional or is buying this blueberry and where you know, going and eating it alone. And, and when you are out harvesting huckleberries and you know, the teaching is to bring some back to somebody who is less fortunate than you because they don't have the time or the money or the ability to be able to get up and harvest their own, um, that you open the opportunity up for people to share their experiences or their memories or they're good blessings with you. And that is part of the design of being a good citizen. It's part, you know, um, civic action. It's part, uh, transformational, a set of transactional, and you really get to have new relationships with people all because of food and because you're feeding that spirit, it's so beautiful.
Speaker 4:
15:57
Right. And that's where the potlatching system, this is a much stronger form of an economy than this western form, right. It with the piloting system, the most noble are those that spread the table and, and host a potluck edge. And so
Speaker 5:
16:13
very different being judged by your generosity, right? Right. Versus being judged by how much wealth, money, dollar amount you you are obtaining. Right?
Speaker 4:
16:23
Yeah. Via Hilbert one time asked me when I was young and coming of age and she asked me, um, well, if you want to know what your purpose is, you only have to ask yourself how you will feed the people. Oh my gosh. It's so beautiful. Perfect. You know, and, and how, how will you, how will you spread the table for them? And, um, and it's something that's really stuck with me, you know, like my purpose to spread the table is through sharing stories and images and making that available to our own people so that we can learn about ourselves and see ourselves authentically and, and, um, I think in, in, at this table and our own right, we're all spreading the table in different ways, but, but I loved that concept, you know, that. Yeah. So beautiful.
Speaker 5:
17:23
I know that there has been work that has been done in communities about examining what happens to native bodies when you are eating traditional foods only, uh, precontact foods. Um, and was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that. I think you've been involved in some of those projects and the ways that actually ingesting these foods and medicines changes our health outcomes. There are physical, mental, and spiritual outcomes that come out of research like that. And essentially what happens if, um, so the Pueblo food experiences is a good example of that or a decolonizing diets, which was done by Dr. Martin Ryan held out of Michigan. And it's so funny because both of them, the things that they have in common is eating grasshoppers, which is like not, there are things that that's slightly, I have to get back to like been working on that.
Speaker 5:
18:25
Um, but, but it turns out that they're like excellent protein and mineral sources. I think that clams in our region are really great in her own proteins. Claims were grasshoppers, yes. But to each their own, like, you know, just try, I got to work on it. But what they've found is after committing to those diets for a certain period of time, I think the public food experiences, like 90 days, people have these profound health outcomes. So they're reversing diabetes, their blood pressures are evening out there, dropping weight, like nobody's business. Um, and so we know that our bodies respond really, really quickly to eating just traditional foods. Um, and it's also kind of challenging, right? Like it's not that easy. We couldn't all return to a traditional foods diet tomorrow. Just there isn't enough food in the system to sustain us all. Um, and you probably would starve a little bit.
Speaker 5:
19:23
And people have like, so some of them I'm getting off of the carb fix can put you into the hospital. Like people feel terrible, they call it the carb flu. Yeah. Not my favorite anyway, but so people experience these profound health outcomes. And did they measure sort of the like mental kind of spiritual aspects of that too? Like what it feels like to be eating like your ancestors? I don't think it was measured in numbers, but definitely in people's stories around their experiences that they just realized how this bra brought people together more. They were collaborating, talking about food and different ways and developing recipes and refining and perfecting them. But, um, those recipes had also been in existence for thousands of years. And so you're really honoring this really old tradition by doing it. And I think in those ways, it makes him impacts for us.
Speaker 5:
20:18
There are lots of studies out there around, um, being in nature for 30 minutes, decreasing our stress hormones. Forest bathing. Yeah. Yeah. The Japanese. Got It. I got it. Right. Um, it's a whole study that they did that I think is profound. You know when you're near trees, just to have your stress hormones be depleted, we know that. But to have it measured is really, really cool. I want to do that so bad. I'm such a Cortisol Geek. I really do think that we need to study it more. It is the like common denominator around following historical trauma and then knowing that the remedy is prayer and meditation and a deep breath and being outside in nature. Right? Like that's what brings our stress down to baseline and when we can model good stress management to our next generation, that's what's really gonna Change. Yeah.
Speaker 5:
21:10
That's what's really going to impact the health because we can have the most pristine diet in the world, but if we don't manage our stress properly, it's all at a loss. Yeah. You mentioned the next generation in your last answer and you're also a mother and I would love to hear about the ways that you hope the future can be different for your daughter in these connections to traditional foods. I think that the first time that thought occurred to me was not actually during pregnancy, like the nine months. I was just trying to stay calm because I knew this was a force that was going to change my life entirely. And I'm still trying to manage it. Nobody ever talks to you about the like 10th month of pregnancy rate where you're actually, you have to feed this thing. And so breastfeeding to me is another important act of food sovereignty. And because I had this whole moment where I was feeding her and in my feeding her, I realized I was reading a report about how all of the eggs that we have are inside of us at birth. Right. And so I'm feeding my grandchildren in this moment and I'd go to the
Speaker 8:
22:25
right, I know to the doctor and be like, look, look at this thing. I drew myself, you know, like she's all 12, 12. Yeah.
Speaker 5:
22:33
Because of her in for a full year. Like for six months she was exclusively breastfed, which was so hard. Um, but for me, I was thinking in those moments how important it is to be thinking about her, to be thinking about my grandchildren and trying to, you know, maintain a good, like a way of thinking a prayer while I'm feeding her and so that I can feed that next generation. And I feel like that's, that is the story of, you know, what we're put here to do is not just figure out how to feed ourselves. I've heard one Onala Duke say it before that, you know, if you're making goals that you're going to see in your lifetime, then you're not dreaming big enough. Like that's how we're designed is inherently to, to make things happen knowing that we're never going to see the outcome of it, but somebody is going to benefit from it and six or seven or eight generations.
Speaker 5:
23:25
And so that's really like the take we have to have on food sovereignty or, or reclaiming our food systems is to be thinking that far out. You talk about that moment in your Ted talk with the grandma and the little boy. Could you tell that story? You talk about how or I don't remember his little boy, but there was a kid who was about how he was going to grow, um, decent cherry, this crab apple trees. I I these like little soundbites of um, encouragement come at me sometimes, which I really kind of, it's almost in the moment when you need it the most, right? So, um, we installed a, an orchard at the Muckleshoot tribal school and we didn't just put in like heirloom apples and things. We also included, um, native plants and crab apple trees for example. And we brought out some educators who were specialists in fruit bearing trees and we had about, I don't know, I showed up and was standing on the top of this wood chip pile with all these muckleshoots running around these like little wild Indians in the garden.
Speaker 5:
24:28
There are so happy to be outside, like kids just need to be outside more. Can you imagine in 10,000 years your, your knowledge system and learning was like a huckleberry meadow or a chemist Perry. And now you're like sitting in a classroom staring at a screen with a 10 minute recess. And we wonder why kids have behavior issues. Like you take them outside and they're engaged. They know exactly what's going on and profound learning happens. And just like learning in places, right? This young man came up to me and I said, how's your day going? And he said, good. I just planted a crab apple tree that's going to feed people a long after I'm gone. It's going to live to be 500 years old. Like it can be that old. That's what I learned today. And I just thought this child, like I can retire happy now, right?
Speaker 5:
25:15
Like this is the best day of my life. They get it, they understand and they see that very easily. Understand that what they're doing is going to make a change far beyond their life. That's really cool. It's beautiful. It's perfect for people that are listening at home or for myself. What are some small ways, you know, that we can incorporate these ideas of food sovereignty into our life? I know you mentioned about thinking about going to the grocery store with your ancestor. I love that idea. You know, um, and I also love this concept that I'm feeding my, my grandchildren. It's slightly terrifying, but it's also, it was so beautiful. I need to stop with a diet coke,
Speaker 6:
26:00
no harvested out of some river, which you might be able to do someday. Oh God. Oh, I want to think about that. But how do we really do that? You know, like
Speaker 5:
26:10
what are some really small ways or tiny ways that we can, uh, begin practicing some of those principles? I think you hit the nail on the head. First of all, it's just making tiny steps, right? If we think about all the changes that we could make in our life, you just sort of, you know, create panic attacks. And so, um, even just starting with like going outside and harvesting one thing, like commit to just that one thing a year or choosing to be come a good ally in one foods life. You know, I think about Billy Frank in the salmon and I think about my own teachers. Uh, Warren King George and Huckleberry, how much he loves that plant. Um, I think about, uh, Shaleise elders like Trudy Marcella who are about Camus, so you can just choose one thing and become, it's really, really good friend. Um, and that will take you so far for me.
Speaker 5:
27:13
You know, I have, I think nettles changed my life. I think I wrote a really obnoxious like article and yes magazine about how nettle changed my life and it was like a cup of tea and I read it now I'm like, oh my God, chill out man. Um, but it's true. Like those, those foods and plants are your greatest teachers and they're waiting for you right outside the door. So you just have to pay attention to them and focus on them and they will and surrender your life. They'll take you anywhere you want to go, you know, or they need you to go, I should say,
Speaker 5:
28:05
ask Auntie. Oh yeah. It's time for ask Andy. Okay. We, uh, put to our friends on the internets and said, do you have any questions about food sovereignty or any questions for val? And we're just going to read a couple out and see, um, if you have kind of short answers that might be helpful for folks. One that I found that I thought was really interesting is what is the difference between traditional food advocacy, like fighting food deserts and food sovereignty, or is there a difference? Food desert, I'm going to start with saying like, that is a term that was, um, you know, very, I think with good intention, creative by the Usda to just say, hey, you know, you don't have a grocery store within 10, a 10 mile radius of you. I grew up in Nevada where the desert is beautiful home means Nevada home means the hills.
Speaker 5:
29:01
Um, that deserts, our food systems that have fed people very well for a long time. So sir, so food sovereignty would sort of like be prodding it that, you know, maybe that's the difference. Traditional food advocacy and food sovereignty to me are the same thing. Hmm. Yeah. My colleague at Brown, uh, Liz Hoover often talks about that misnomer of the food desert and gives all these amazing examples of the time she's been in the desert with people who are from there and they're just picking things off of cactuses and from the brush and being able to feed themselves because that's what they've done for since time began. Um, and it's so
Speaker 1:
29:42
interesting how those small reframing things are things that we don't really think about. But the power of that phrase, food desert implies lack. It implies a, not abundance. But if you talk to an indigenous person from the desert, desert implies of sustaining life force implies all of these food systems and life ways that, uh, are just so different than the mainstream conception of what a food desert is. That's the perspective of a desert came out of colonizers who are pioneering through the west and didn't make it. They were eating their own, it's called the Donner party.
Speaker 7:
30:17
Google it, and they didn't know,
Speaker 1:
30:21
started by the pirates and she's Shoney's who were feeding themselves very well in the desert. You know, another question that came from Twitter was from a college student who was asking, uh, what ways if you're bound by a dining hall or in a college environment, can you still start to enact these practices if food sovereignty? Well, what I did was every report and homework assignment I had, I made about food sovereignty, you know, spend time thinking about it. If it's not nearly like right near by, you are, you can't really enact it or
Speaker 7:
30:56
yeah,
Speaker 1:
31:00
yes, yes. So many opportunities to learn. So right about it then. Yeah. So even if you're in the dining hall and can't necessarily be eating indigenous foods, you can be working on these other aspects of it.
Speaker 4:
31:13
[inaudible] and then maybe with your different associations on campus, you know, you can ask
Speaker 1:
31:20
for some invite a speaker to speaker. You can also host
Speaker 4:
31:25
indigenous foods, meals like a community table. I also think you can, if you want to get real protested about it, you can protest and ask that they offer some indigenous foods for the indigenous students and maybe change policy because students have all of the power on campus. And so, you know, I think it's, um, they can think of themselves in that way as, as having the opportunity to exercise their sovereignty in their own space and, and ask for and demand or create opportunities for themselves to eat the kinds of foods that matter to them. And I've seen with my own students, um, at Brown that
Speaker 1:
32:02
being able to eat an access traditional foods is such a powerful way of combating homesickness, of kind of tying you to your community, remembering why you are there on campus. So they find opportunities all the time to even using the hot plate at the student center to make Blue Corn Mush or, um, having their mom or their aunties like send like dried fish or drag meet and everyone's just gathered around at the nab meetings, like eating all these snacks from home. And so it's that powerful connection to home too. That's not just the, like I'm going to the dining hall to eat my food kind of thing. Skoda, Skoda, Skoda, what he's got. And I'm going to need you to say, so where does, let's go then.
Speaker 5:
32:51
Oh my God. Immediately
Speaker 6:
32:57
go ahead. Uh, welcome to scout then.
Speaker 5:
33:02
Got It. You got to close your eyes when you,
Speaker 6:
33:05
this is
Speaker 1:
33:07
are sort of rapid fire round. You pick a question out of the basket. You can either answer it pass and um, or defer to the previous question. You go first.
Speaker 5:
33:20
Stew or fry bread still. Sorry, I read. Let's do, we got to decolonize our, you just had to say that Rye bread. Do you want to tell the people why fry bread is not a traditional food? Um, well we can go back to the harvesting Diet Soda from Rivers, reference God's eyes, harvest ingredients,
Speaker 1:
33:50
fry bread and no way. Um, my turn. Yeah. What are some of your favorite recipes? I really love rose hip jam. Like, I dunno, it goes with the seasons, but for me it's really easy. You just take rose hips, you'd take the seeds out of him dry and powder him and add apple juice or something like that. And they make the best jam. Yeah. And it's like all your vitamin C you need in the day all your iron. It's really good medicine for women. It's a blood purifier and it's really easy to make. So, um, where is the hip of the rose?
Speaker 5:
34:27
I love that you, like you pointed to your head and lean. We have to tell people who are listening. You leaned over and showed me your hip. Uh, so flower sex, one o one, you have a wild rose and then at pollinates itself and the ovary gets fertilized and it swells up. And so this time of year, all the wild roses are now hips. They become hips, which are just like rose ovaries. Yes. For murder, like swollen. Most fruits are, you're eating the ovaries.
Speaker 6:
34:59
Oh. [inaudible]
Speaker 1:
35:09
that's fascinating though. Um, okay, my question is what are some traditional foods that you have reconnected to? I think I now am an active consumer of wild rice. I eat wild rice all the time and order it from different Rez communities. So make sure that I'm like supporting folks who are still harvesting it in traditional ways. I eat a lot of seafood on the east coast. Um, I live in Rhode Island, so there's like fresh oysters and clams and stuff and muscles at our farmer's market, which is amazing. And then on the Cherokee side, I got some Cherokee corn for the first time, which was very powerful to like hold that ear of corn and be like, wow, this is heritage. These are heritage seeds, like from my community. And they're beautiful. It's like purple and white. So, um, being able to build that connection to through Cherokee foods is something that I really want to
Speaker 4:
36:00
build up as well. [inaudible] me traditional foods. Yeah. Oh no, I eat them all. You know, I eat a lot of salmon. Yeah. Because I'm from the northwest and, and we're the salmon people and a lot of ways. Um, I, I recently, I've become allergic to shellfish. I'm like sad and yeah. You know, and actually I participated in Jamie's steady, you know, Jamie, Donna Tuto. Yeah. And she did that research that found that a lot of the, the reasons why many of our people are becoming allergic to shellfish is because of the buildup of toxins and the northwest. And, um, so I'm one of those people, so be prior to that, I think we ate much. My Mara shellfish in my house. I'm s I'm like very allergic, so I grew up going like shrimping. Right. Uh, so I've, I can't even be on a shrimp boat anymore and I can't go crabbing either.
Speaker 4:
36:53
Last time I went crabbing with my brother, I, I work gloves and a long sleeve sweatshirt, but I still got hives all the way up my arm just being out on the crab boat. So it's really sad for me because, you know, I've been doing that my whole life, so it's really strange to not be able to be around shellfish anymore. Um, we recently had a burning and I had to, like, I couldn't be in the kitchen cooking because we were cooking so much shellfish, so I'd like to, it's like really sad for me to not be able to eat shellfish anymore. Um, but yeah,
Speaker 1:
37:23
you should try seaweed to have you. Or do you eat seaweed or I mean from trader Joe's and the little packets, like a chip. I had to order like a 10 pound box from this place in Maine. And so I can ship you some if you want it like came in as a box of seaweed and my partner was like, what is that like help, I'm going to eat it. Of course now I don't get down with seaweed that often. It's true. I like, it's just not, you know, something I'd be cooking. Yeah, I would do. Yeah. I am like determined to figure out your shellfish situation. I like the wheels are turning around. Yeah. Cause I you can't accept that. That sucks. Yeah. We'll figure it out. Okay. Thanks. [inaudible] your question, what was it, what was the indigenous, some traditional foods that you've reconnected to? Mm hmm. Um, well right now, um, Camus is haunting my dreams, so like you Toki and all the people, what canvas is. So campus is a ball. That was the second most traded item here in coast Salish country after salmon. And it used to prairies would exist from Canada into northern California. And now, less than four of those prairies
Speaker 5:
38:36
are still intact nowadays. We call it the I five corridor. It was like pristine, you know, area to build a highway apparently. And um, and then unfortunately we've lost like a lot of connection to that, but it was one of the only starches in our traditional diet, which consisted of less than 5% of a coast Salish diet would actually be carbohydrates or starch basing. And they're only in bloom for about two weeks out of the year. Um, they, when they are in full bloom, like when Lewis and Clark came into the show Shayla's valley, they thought they were looking at a body of water but they were looking at canvas in full bloom cause it's this blue lily flower. So if you can imagine like I'm not a bad, I'm not a very good harvester, I'm just out there daydreaming all the time. People are always like, get busy, dig.
Speaker 5:
39:25
You have to like they were brought here via glacier 10,000 years ago and so our people were managing these prairies for 10,000 years. Um, and now, you know, they're just not intact. But I'm getting calls from random concerned citizens in from Whidbey island to Covington, uh, about these prairies and that there's just a little bit left and they're owned by private landowners who don't really know the significance or impact of it. And then, you know, tribes have the knowledge around it has decreased. And so right now I've just taken by this, by this food. I feel like it's something that needs to be focused on and revitalized. And we've just recently launched the prairie revival project, which reminds you of like CCR or something. I Dunno. I feel like singing the blues. Um, and, and so really right now that's like one of the, my most favorite foods.
Speaker 5:
40:20
So how do you let Moose meat as a close? It's like my happy food. So how do you prepare chemists? It's like a root, like a super, it's a bulb. Um, you can harvest them and you clean them up and you can, I freeze them and then just roast them off in the oven. But historically, uh, families would gather and prairies. So there's, you know, lots of testimony about even Muckleshoot families traveling down to the Nisqualli area and harvesting. I'm down there for about two weeks out of the year of families gather, gathering the prairies and they'd start from the outside and work towards the center and then they would dig this big earthen oven and they'd roast them in an earthen oven for two days. And you'd have to have specialized knowledge and like the exact smell that they would admit to be able to, you know, uncover the earthen oven in that process.
Speaker 5:
41:14
It turns out, makes this perfect, um, cooking process that comes out. It, this cooking process brings out the inulin inside of that plant, which helps our body manage blood glucose. So if you think about the antidiabetic properties and implications of that, like you were having to exert a lot of energy to get a little bit of energy because carbohydrate is such a compacted amount of energy, but you also had this beautiful balance of being able to, uh, maintain the blood glucose levels as you're processing it. So it didn't just spike you up really high like you know, potatoes or white flour does. Um, it would just be this nice incline in energy that would happen and it's, the whole relationship with that plant is so beautiful. And even the creation story talks about, um, uh, grandmother giving her life and turning herself into a canvas bell, defeat her kids so that even the creation story is beautiful. And if you think about glaciers as grandmas who are like slowly moving through the land, changing the landscape, it's just, I love it. I could do the whole five days
Speaker 6:
42:22
answers relative wrap it up. That was, that was my question.
Speaker 5:
42:31
Yeah.
Speaker 1:
42:33
Speaking of wrapping it up, that's where we're going to have to end our discussion today. Thank you so much. You're incredible guests. Valerie seagrass for sharing her wisdom with us and thanks to all of you for listening. We love you and we're so glad you're here with us. Thank you to our amazing creative director and audio engineer Teo shots and our badass production team for all their work in making this possible.
Speaker 2:
42:53
Make sure to check out our next episode on native mascots with Amanda Blackhorse and Dr Stephanie Fryberg. If you like this and want more, please stop by our website at all my relations, podcast.com and donate, or you can support us by giving us all your stars on iTunes and share the podcast with all your relations. Be sure to follow us on the Graham at all my relations podcast, and we've also put together a blog post to accompany this episode on our website where you can find links, comment, and reach out to us. Of course, you're welcome to follow us individually. I'm on Twitter and the Graham as at native appropes. Emma Tega can be found at Matico Wilbur or at project five six to see you soon.
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