What is Food Sovereignty?

It’s much more than just a catch phrase. But, for the new director of USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations, Heather Dawn Thompson, what is “food sovereignty”.

“I think one really good example is heirloom seeds. A lot of native communities have heirlooms species of their squash and corn and etcetera that have been passed down  through the generations that they’re looking forward to cultivating within their indigenous agriculture plans.”

“They have different species of corn,” Thompson continued. “For example in Navajo, they have a blue corn that they cultivate.”

Meanwhile, she adds that producing indigenous crops is just one part of the challenge.

“As you know it’s really difficult to be successful in agriculture unless you have a market and you have financing. And so we look forward to USDA empowering the market and the financing mechanism for these traditional foods.”

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