SARE PDP Grant

Pre-proposalsfor the SARE Professional Development Program (PDP) Grant are due on May 16th, 2013.  PDP grants are designed to support professional development projects aimed at training agricultural professional and educators.

The Intertribal Agriculture Council currently has an ongoing SARE PDP project for an Agricultural Skills Workshop Series over the next three years.  We are organizing a series of workshops across the region focusing on a variety of sustainable ag. topics.  The funding is primarily being used for participant travel and other logistical expenses.

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Food Sovereignty Summit

The Food Sovereignty Summit was held at Oneida, WI from April 15-18, 2013.  Nearly 300 attendees learned about innovative agricultural and food system projects across Native North America and connected with other individuals and groups doing similar work.  The event was a collaboration among the Oneida Nation, First Nations Development Institute, the Intertribal Agriculture Council, and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

The summit began with workshops and tours on Monday, April 15th.  Partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College even allowed participants in a series of courses to obtain college credit.

Hanging white corn braids at Tysunhehkwa
Touring the hanging white corn braids at Tysunhehkwa
Checking out the Oneida cannery with white corn in the cooker
Checking out the Oneida cannery with white corn in the cooker

The summit then got started in full on Tuesday morning after a meet-and-greet reception sponsored by the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.  Winona LaDuke helped to start off the conference with an impassioned call to implement food sovereignty across Indian Country.  Attendees were then able to select between breakout sessions in three different tracks.  This biggest challenge was figuring out which track to select given the quality of speakers in each.

Luncheon featuring IAC Executive Director, Ross Racine, and former USDA Office of Tribal Relation Director, Janie Hipp
Luncheon featuring IAC Executive Director, Ross Racine, and former USDA Office of Tribal Relation Director, Janie Hipp

The Food Sovereignty Summit also provided an excellent opportunity to highlight the new Mobile Farmers Market in its debut sales event.

Mobile Farmers Market at Food Sovereignty Summit
Mobile Farmers Market at Food Sovereignty Summit

Selling and showcasing a variety of products provided practice in working with multiple products from a variety of vendors.  We also offered the official conference t-shirts screen-printed with the awesome Food Sovereignty Summit logo.

Mobile Farmers Market indoor sales booth
Mobile Farmers Market indoor sales booth

The interpersonal connections were definitely one of the biggest successes of the entire event.  New connections were made and old connections were rekindled.  A great example is the progression of students that have moved on to become teachers themselves.

Bridging the Generations - Dennis Banks joins Dana Eldridge and two of her former students
Bridging the Generations – Dennis Banks joins Dana Eldridge and two of her former students

Registrations Still Being Accepted for Food Sovereignty Summit

We’re still accepting registrations for the Food Sovereignty Summit at Oneida from April 15-18th.  More information on the event, including the agenda and registration pages are available on the summit website.

Also remember that we are offering a series of workshops on business planning and permaculture design.  The permaculture workshop will also feature a session Monday morning, April 15th on seed saving and we’ll be organizing a seed exchange on Tuesday evening, so feel free to bring any seeds you’re willing to trade or give away.