Reclaiming Indigenous Food Sovereignty

What was once a rare disease, type two diabetes is now the highest amongst Native American and Alaskan Native adults and children than any other racial and ethnic group in the United States. Those children, particularly living on or near reservation and tribal lands, are more likely to experience type 2 diabetes, food insecurity, and obesity in comparison to all other children in the United States. Food access is an issue at multiple levels: access to seasonally available wild foods, financial access to fresh, whole foods, and access to the cultural knowledge to prepare and preserve traditional foods. The biggest contributors to this loss in food access were forced removals from native lands onto barren reservations, forced assimilation in Native American Boarding Schools, and the government-provided commodity food that was then distributed to those on reservations. Those foods commonly included white flour, lard, sugar, dairy products, and canned meats- a major contrast from the unprocessed, whole, traditional foods they were use to.

It is because of this epidemic, people within the Indigenous communities are working towards an indigenous foods movement as a means of cultural renewal, environmental sustainability, and a way to reclaim Food Sovereignty.

“Indigenous food sovereignty is the act of going back to our roots as Indigenous peoples and using the knowledge and wisdom of our people that they used when they oversaw their own survival. This includes the ability to define one’s own food sources and processes, such as the decision to hunt, trap, fish, gather, harvest, grow and eat based on Indigenous culture and ways of life.”

Below, is a TedxTalk from Sean Sherman, who further discusses where the traditional knowledge got lost, and how himself and many other indigenous folks are taking matters into their own hands, reclaiming their Indigenous Food Sovereignty.

Here, we will be listing just a few of the many Indigenous people/ Indigenous-led Organizations reclaiming Food Sovereignty within the United States.

Indigikitchen

An online cooking show dedicated to re-indigenizing diets using digital media. Using foods native to their Americas, Indigikitchen gives viewers the important tools they need to find and prepare food in their own communities. Beyond that, it strengthens the ties to their cultures and reminds them of the inherent worth of their identities while fueling their physical bodies.

Brian Yazzie “Yazzie the Chef”

A Diné/Navajo chef and food justice activist from Dennehotso, Arizona and based out of Saint Paul, MN. He is the founder of Intertribal Foodways catering company, a YouTube creator under Yazzie The Chef TV, a delegate of Slow Food Turtle Island Association, and a member at I-Collective. Yazzie’s career is devoted to the betterment of tribal communities, wellness, and health.

Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef

Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, SD, has been cooking across the US and World for the last 30 years. His main culinary focus has been on the revitalization and awareness of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context. Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems which include the knowledge of Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, salt and sugar making, hunting and fishing, food preservation, Native American migrational histories, elemental cooking techniques, and Native culture and history in general to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world.

The Sioux Chef team works to make indigenous foods more accessible to as many communities as possible. To open opportunities for more people to learn about Native cuisine and develop food enterprises in their tribal communities.

Three Sisters Gardens

Farmer Alfred Melbourne is the owner and operator of Three Sisters Gardens and a long time resident of West Sacramento. Based on traditional native teachings, Three Sisters Gardens is an Indidgenous-led organization with a mission to teach at risk youth how to grow/harvest/distribute organic vegetables, connect Native youth back to the land, build connections with community elders, and reclaim food sovereignty. They donate food to the Yolo Food Bank, and also hold a “Free Farm” stand where they offer their veggies free to to the community.  

 

Linda Black Elk

Linda Black Elk is an ethnobotanist who serves as the Food Sovereignty Coordinator at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota. She specializes in teaching about Indigenous plants and their uses as food and medicine. She teaches classes like “Food Preservation and Storage” and “From Farm and Forage to Fork.” She also uses her wealth of knowledge and charismatic ways of connecting through her YouTube channel, covering topics like making homemade cedar blueberry cough syrup, drying squash varieties, and how to make plant-based medicines at home for various health support.
Black Elk’s drive to make wild plants and plant medicine accessible, applicable, and relevant is so strong it resonates throughout all she does. She is also a founding board member of the Mni Wichoni Health Circle, an organization devoted to decolonized medicines.

Reclaiming control over local food systems is an important step toward ensuring the long-lasting health and economic well-being of Native people and communities. Native food system control has proven to increase food production, improve health and nutrition, and eliminate food insecurity in rural and reservation-based communities, while also promoting entrepreneurship and economic development.
This is Indigenous resilience, moving through the era of disconnection to their foods and traditions and reclaiming their intergenerational knowledge.

The Davis Food Co-op occupies land that belongs to three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

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Supporting our Veterans

For many, national holidays do not carry the significance that they deserve.

Some see it merely as a day that they have off of work or a day that they have to prepare for their bank being closed. For those that do have to work, it may seem as if there is no change to their routine and therefore no realization that there is even a holiday happening. And for others, there is the acknowledgement of the holiday with only a brief, yet fleeting, moment of reflection… 

Let this blog serve as an opportunity to find the ways that you can truly acknowledge this year’s Veterans Day. In this blog we will cover two issues that disproportionately impact Veterans and share some resources and organizations that are working to help.

(It should be noted that the resources provided in this blog are in no way meant to be a complete list. There are many great organizations across the country that are doing meaningful work to help Veterans)

First, the History of Veterans Day

The photo that you see here was taken in Stenay, Meuse in France on November 11, 1918: two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect. A year from this date, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of “Armistice Day” with the following words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations”

Armistice Day was recognized but not made an official national holiday until 1938. WWI was said to be “the war to end all wars” and that was an honest sentiment of the time. However, in 1954, after World War II saw the greatest military mobilization in the nation’s history and after American forces had fought in Korea, the Act of 1938 that made Armistice Day a national holiday was amended to change “Armistice” to “Veterans” in its title. From this day forward, Veterans Day became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

From the US Department of Veterans Affairs history page of the holiday:

“Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

WW1 was referred to as “the war to end all wars” but it was anything but. We see now that this once idealistic slogan is unfortunately far from reality a century later. As a result, our Veterans, no matter which era they served in, have oftentimes endured hardship and trauma that alters their lives forever.

Issues Veterans Face

Veterans Day should go beyond just expressing appreciation for those who have served. We should be doing more than Veterans Discounts at restaurants, moments of silence before sporting events and saying a simple “thank you for serving” in passing. The truth of the matter is that to properly appreciate our Veterans, we should be finding the ways that we can support them in their battle against a couple of unique issues that many of them face upon returning home that you may not be aware of. 

Mental health issues and homelessness are struggles that many Americans face. Veterans of the US Military are disproportionately impacted by these issues. While these situations are dire, there are organizations and resources to support that are doing great work to attempt a remedy to these issues.

 

Mental Health

According to a 2014 study cited by the National Alliance of Mental Illness, nearly 1 in 4 active duty members showed signs of a mental health condition. The most common way that these conditions manifested were through:

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Traumatic events, often experienced during one’s time in the Military can come from combat, assault, witnessing disasters or sexual assault. These experiences can have long-lasting negative effects such as trouble sleeping, anger, nightmares, and substance abuse. The aforementioned 2014 study found that the rate of PTSD can be up to 15 times higher than civilians.
  • Depression: Depression that interferes with daily life and normal functioning is five times more likely for Veterans and active duty members than civilians.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): A significant blow to the head or body, often as a result of combat, can later cause headaches, fatigue or drowsiness, memory problems and mood changes & swings.

In the most severe cases, unfortunately, there are Veterans who turn to suicide at alarming rates. According to the 2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Report, Veteran suicides in 2020 exceeded those of nonveterans in the U.S. by 57.3%. A total of 6,146 Veterans died from suicide in 2020 alone. That year, suicide was the the second leading cause of death among Veterans under the age of 45.

Mental Health Resources and Organizations to Support:

Veterans Crisis Line

Veterans in crisis, or people who are concerned about a loved one that is a Veteran, can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 988 then press “1” or text 838255 to connect with a crisis counselor 24/7, 365 days a year.

Web chat is also available here: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/

 Wounded Warrior Project

With the incredible support of donors, the Wounded Warrior Project has provided over 40,000 hours of intensive outpatient care and therapy sessions in just the past year- helping veterans and their families live happier and more fulfilling lives.

Learn more and donate here: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/mental-wellness

 The Headstrong Project

The Headstrong Project treats an average of 1,400 Veterans every month. Furthermore, 90% of the Veterans who participate in their programs report an improved quality of life. For example, 7 out of 10 of their clients report a decrease in suicidal thoughts and 8 out of 10 report improvements in their relationships.

Learn more and donate here: https://theheadstrongproject.org/the-headstrong-experience/

K9s for Warriors

Since their founding, K9s For Warriors has matched over 700 service dogs with veterans suffering from mental health conditions. 82% of veterans who participated in their programs reported a decline in suicidal thoughts, and 92% reported a reduction or elimination of prescription medications.

Learn more and donate here: https://k9sforwarriors.org/warrior-journey/

Homelessness 

On November 3, 2022 the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the US Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) announced preliminary results that showed that there are 33,136 unhoused Veterans nationwide. The results claim an 11% decline in this number since 2020 but there are many who believe that these numbers may be underestimated as it relies on sometimes unreliable local counts. Regardless, the number of unhoused Veterans, in a country that prides itself on showing appreciation for them, is staggering.

Homelessness is a huge topic of conversation in California. We have all seen the effects of homelessness which we have explored in a previous blog. However, the scope of Veterans experiencing homelessness in California is hardly the main focus of these public discussions. HUD estimates that 1/3 of our nation’s unhoused Veterans live in California, which means we have over 10,000 Veterans experiencing homelessness in our state alone. To put that into perspective, imagine a sold out football game at UC Davis Health Stadium packed to the brim with people sitting shoulder to shoulder. Now imagine that everyone in that stadium is an unhoused Veteran of the US Military.

Here are some more eye opening facts about unhoused Veterans in the US: 

  • The amount of female Veterans is sharply on the rise: in 2006, there were 150 unhoused female veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. That number rose to 1,700 in 2011 and is estimated to be closer to 6,000 in 2022. Studies conducted by HUD show that female Veterans are two to three times more likely to experience homelessness than any other group in the US adult population.
  • Nearly 56% of all unhoused Veterans are Black or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 13.6% and 18.9% of the US population respectively.
  • About 53% of unhoused Veterans have disabilities. Right around 50% suffer from mental illness, 67% suffer from substance abuse problems and many suffer from a combination of both
  • Unhoused Veterans experience homelessness longer. On average, an unhoused Veteran will experience homelessness for nearly six years compared to four years reported among non-Veterans.

Unhoused Veteran Resources and Organizations to Support:

 The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans(NCHV)  is recognized as a leading entity to shape policy for Veterans and are often asked to testify in front of Congress. Since 2008, they’ve given 30 testimonials on behalf of unhoused Veterans. They have also allocated more than $700 million dollars to improve and expand services for unhoused Veterans.

Learn more and donate here: https://nchv.org/veteran-homelessness/

Nation’s Finest, Sacramento

Nation’s Finest provides supportive services to very low-income Veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant. Nation’s Finest provides eligible Veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other mainstream benefits that promote housing stability and community integration.

Learn more and donate here: https://nationsfinest.org/our-services/#transitional-housing

 

Operation Dignity

Operation Dignity helps an estimated 1,000 Veterans in Alameda County annually. In 2021, they served 200 unhoused Veterans and 83% of these Veterans in their transitional housing program moved on to secure permanent housing.

Learn more and donate here: https://operationdignity.org/

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Davis Forest School – DFC’s 2022 Apple a Day Recipient

Each year, the Co-op donates $0.10 for every pound of apples sold over the course of our fiscal year through our “Apple a Day” program. With 60,275.25 lbs of apples sold from October 2021 – September 2022, we were left with $6,275.25 to donate to a local nonprofit organization.

For this year’s donation, we have chosen Davis Forest School as our recipient.

The $6,275.25 donation will directly support the expansion of their Winter 2023 Program to include an additional skill-based class for 15 more children in the Davis community.

Our Marketing Manager Vince and Education and Outreach Specialist Anna recently sat down with founder Candice Wang, and had her answer a few questions about Davis Forest School: 

1. Can you Tell us about Davis Forest School and how it came to fruition?

Davis Forest School is a non-profit nature play and outdoor education organization, and
was founded in early 2018. Our goal is to promote and cultivate understanding of, and
empathy for, the natural world, and for the local bioregion (in particular, the ecosystem of Putah Creek and the lower Sacramento River watershed).
Our programming is based on the forest school model, which meets outdoors in the wild, over time, and is a co-creating experience between children and the Forest Mentors.
This organization came to fruition from me being a mother to very spirited and wild
children. Motherhood was an initiation into deconditioning and healing from certain
aspects of my own childhood, and a commitment to following the lead of my children in
what they need. We discovered the forest school model together, and the first time I
spent hours in nature with my kiddos, I just felt so much peace. I could see all the ways
we are disconnected from our lives, each other, the land, and how important it is to find a sense of connection again. My children’s wildness led me to this work, and the layers of depth with our connection to this land keeps me here.
Davis Forest School is also a testament of what can be created from a tapestry of
community members who share a vision and are deeply devoted and passionate to their work. Rosemary Roberts, a parent to one of our first students, took on running the
school when I moved away for a couple of years, and was the person to establish DFS
as a community entity. We are now supported and led by a team of parents behind the
scenes. We also have the most wonderful Forest Mentors who take so much ownership
over what we do, such as Molly Damore Johann, who was the person to connect us
with this opportunity with the Davis Food Co-op.

2. Why do you believe this way of schooling is a good alternative to formal schooling?

For now, we don’t replace other schooling models because we mostly run as an
afterschool program (although we have a homeschool morning class that we would like to expand!). Our organization is more of a counter environment to the formal schooling that children receive, and divests from our culture’s fixation on busyness. Rather than having a top-down model of education, we allow space for spontaneous learning through unstructured imaginative play and exploration. Our staff members are “Forest Mentors”, and not “teachers”, and take on the role of guides for the kiddos during our time out in nature together. We trust children in their innate sense to learn through play and exploration. Our programming is child-led, although we follow a daily rhythm and include naturalist studies, nature connection routines, and earth skills. When children are told what to do, what they need to learn, or what our time together should look like, this can cause them to shut down and resist what’s in front of them. When children have space to just be, their curiosity and sense of openness expands. Children learn so much from following their curiosities, and by returning to the same natural spaces over and over again, throughout the seasons and years.

3. Why is land acknowledgement and reparations an important part of Davis
Forest School?

Our work is deeply entwined with the land. Since time immemorial, the Patwin people have been stewards of this land. Acknowledging that we are on occupied Patwin land, through words, is the very bare minimum entry into land acknowledgement. We are learning that true land acknowledgement comes from how we run our program, and through partnering with Indigenous folks and support organizations. As a society, we need to move away from a model where we commodify nature, where we view it as something to further extract from. Nature programming can easily become about how nature can serve us. Beyond words, land acknowledgment is embracing and honoring Indigenous models of being in reciprocal relationship with the land.
DFS offers reparations to our Black and Indigenous families because we are running land-based programming on stolen land, in a country that was built on the backs of Black labor. Offering reparations is also a step towards dismantling systems of power, and prioritizing equity, in outdoor spaces.

    4. What are some of the things the kiddos have said they enjoy the most in the programs?

    We hear from the kiddos that they really enjoy swimming and playing in the creek. They love whittling, building shelter, catching crayfish, and going on expeditions. The kiddos have high-excitement moments when we see certain animals, like an otter eating trout by the shoreline. The children love our Forest Mentors, and having time together each week. At the start of our Fall Program last month, a few children said that Forest School is unlike any school they’ve been to before, and that they are free to play. I think children come into our program expecting what they know to be school, because we have “school” in our name. It reaffirms the work we do when we witness children open up and embrace their sense of autonomy in a higher freedom environment.
     

    5. When someone donates to Davis Forest school, what does it go towards? What
    are other ways people in the community can support Davis Forest School?

    Right now, all donations go directly towards our equity fund for tuition assistance and reparations, which supports our goal of creating more equity in the outdoor space. People in the community can also support us by continuing to share DFS with others, and by sharing with us grants and funding opportunities that are relevant to our organization. We are in a critical stage of growth and formation, where we need to find the balance between being able to offer accessible programming and being able to provide sustainable jobs for the amazing team we have. I do want to acknowledge how we already feel so embraced by this wonderful community. Davis Forest School is here today because of the people who understand and appreciate the work we do, and have uplifted us throughout the past few years. We very much look forward to expanding and continuing to anchor in this work.

    Learn more about

    Davis Forest School here

    *Photos provided by Natascha Paxton and Candice Wang

     

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    Hispanic Heritage Month Staff Recipes

    Hispanic Heritage Month Staff Recipes

    Chilaquiles

    Recipe by Marketing Specialist Christine Ciganovich’s Mom

    Chicken Fajitas

    Recipe by General Manager Laura Sanchez

    Beef Chile Colorado

    Recipe by General Manager Laura Sanchez

    Sopa de Fideo

    Recipe by IT Manager Briza Ramirez

    Tomatillo Salsa

    Recipe by IT Manager Briza Ramirez

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    Hispanic Heritage

    Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

    The Davis Food Co-op would like to use Hispanic Heritage Month as an opportunity to show our appreciation of Hispanic/Latinx culture and its contributions to our store and community. This page is meant to be a constantly growing set of information and resources.

    Terminology

    As you will notice throughout this page, both Hispanic and Latino/Latinx are terms that are used. While they are often used interchangeably in popular culture but they actually mean two different things. Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish or are descended from Spanish-speaking populations, while Latinx refers specifically to people who are from (or directly descended from) people from Latin America (most commonly known as the regions of Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rica, and the rest of South or Central America). Latinx is a non-gendered form of the word Latino and is typically more appropriate for the demographic we are referring to. However, the term Hispanic is still tied to much of how we discuss these populations (as it is in Hispanic Heritage Month) and thus is why it will continue to be used on this page.

    In an effort to build a more equitable and inclusive Co-op, our buyers actively seek out diverse brands to share with our community. We’ve compiled a list of those brands owned and operated by groups such as the Latinx community. These brands are identified by shelf talkers in our store and can be found on our website here.

     

    Blogs

    Hispanic Heritage Month Staff Recipes

    Hispanic Heritage Month Staff Recipes Chilaquiles Recipe by Marketing Specialist Christine Ciganovich’s Mom Chicken Fajitas Recipe by General Manager Laura Sanchez Beef Chile Colorado Recipe by General Manager Laura Sanchez Sopa de Fideo Recipe by IT Manager...

    Hispanic Heritage Month

    September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month as the anniversary of the Cry of Dolores (1810), which marked the start of the Mexican War of Independence. It was this moment that eventually led to independence for the Spanish colonies that are now recognized as the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Today we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success.

     

    For a great list of resources related to Hispanic Heritage Month, we encourage you to visit this page here from the National Museum of the American Latino.

     

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    Why the Zero Waste Community Needs More Inclusivity

    Why The Zero Waste Community Needs More Inclusivity

     

            By now, most of us have heard the term “zero waste”, which one of the simple ways to put it, means to send little to no items to landfill. Zero waste living is about consuming less, being more conscious about our purchasing habits, supporting eco-friendly companies, and overall reducing our environmental impact. We’ve seen the zero waste community grow immensely over the past decade, especially as the Climate Crisis continues to rise.

     

            But the issue with this community, is the lack of inclusion for our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Big advocates tend to be White, seemingly middle-classed women. A typical day for them consists of them making their weekly batch of almond milk and placing it in their perfectly labeled jars, putting on their $350 dollar dress that was made completely out of plastic bottles, and the plastic free produce they just purchased from their local Farmer’s Market (which of course was only a five-minute bicycle ride from their house). For some, it comes off as an unattainable lifestyle if you are not White and not in the middle-upper class, but that simply is not true. 

     

     

    BIPOC communities have been living zero waste lifestyles for thousands of years. Most cultures live this way without even identifying themselves as “zero waste”, as it’s just something they have always done; repurposing empty containers to store leftovers, hand-me-down clothing, using every part of an animal they just harvested, etc. Thrifting was once only for low-income communities and was only for “poor people” because it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing or “cool”. Now that it has become trendy, everyone is doing it.

    Zero waste community members have a responsibility to ensure their environmental sustainability is working towards:

    1. Ending Fossil Fuel extractions and Fossil-Fuel based products like plastic.
    2. Getting commitment from agencies and local governments to stop funding false or short-term solutions like waste-to-energy.
    3. Addressing Food Insecurity and Food Deserts in BIPOC communities.
    4. Addressing Environmental Racism.
    •  While Indigenous people comprise 5% of the world population, Indigenous People protect about 80% of the Earth’s Biodiversity in the Forests, Deserts, Grasslands, and Marine Environments in which they have lived for centuries.
    • Studies have shown that White neighborhoods have at least 4 times as many grocery stores as predominately Black neighborhoods.

       These are just some of the many reasons      why this community has to be more             inclusive if it is to survive and achieve its     end goal in protecting Mother Earth.

    The movement needs to better reflect more diverse experiences to broaden its audience. BIPOC struggle to resonate with the zero-waste movement when they do not see their own personal environmentalism experiences in conversations. It must go beyond the conversations of what zero waste products you are purchasing and consuming.         

    To create a more inclusive Zero Waste community, we must follow/spotlight more BIPOC leaders, broaden the topics/issues within the Zero Waste Community, & have current advocates acknowledge how their portrayal of their lifestyle comes off as inaccessible to most people, especially within the BIPOC Community, and change the narrative of what it means to be Zero Waste.   

    More Resources available here:

    Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives

    Food Deserts

    Environmental Justice for PFJ: BIPOC Communities Bear The Burden Of Plastic Pollution

    65+ BIPOC Influencers and Creators in the Sustainable and Environmentalism Movement 

    Environmental Justice Organizations

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    Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month 2022

    Celebrate AAPI Heritage

    May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander individuals and communities in the United States. Asian/Pacific is a broad term. It encompases people from the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia), and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). 

    On May 7th, 1843 Manjiro, a 14-year old fisherman, arrived in the United States via whaling ship. He is considered the first Japanese immigrant to come to the United States. May 10th, 1869 marks the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which was built largely by Chinese immigrants in very poor conditions. For these reasons, Congress chose May to celebrate AAPI heritage.

    In this blog, you can find information on ways to support and celebrate the AAPI community.  In addition to the virtual and non-virtual celebrations below, you can also celebrate AAPI heritage with books for kids and adults and movies – sharing with your family is encouraged!

    Stop AAPI Hate

    Between March 2020 and March 2021 there were 6,603 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women, reported in the United States. Although we saw an increase in AAPI hate during the first year of the pandemic, discrimination against the AAPI community isn’t new or isolated; rather, it has deep roots in systemic racism and white supremacy. Xenophobia and widespread disinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic have led to an increase in racist incidents, including violence, against the AAPI community. The Davis Food Co-op condemns attacks against Asian/Pacific Americans and stands in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community members.

    Support the AAPI Community

    Support Asian/Pacific American folks in our community by regularly patronizing AAPI-owned restaurants, business, and by buying from AAPI artisans.

    You can also support AAPI business by buying Asian/Pacific American owned brands. Here are some of the Asian/Pacific American owned brands we carry at the Co-op.  

    AAPI Heritage Month Events

    Places To Go

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    Indigenous Food Sovereignty

    One of the largest impacts of the Pandemic over the last two years was towards food security, a topic you may have become more familiar with as demand for food bank services reached an all time high. As a co-op and part of the community, many of us inherently understand the importance of creating a food system that can nourish everyone. To take it one step further, in order to truly care about this topic and its impact on our local communities, it is important to also realize the land in which these communities occupy. In order to do this, we must understand the importance of the concept of Indigenous Food Sovereignty.

    The Davis Food Co-op occupies land that belongs to three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

    Indigenous Food Sovereignty

    While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5% of the world’s population, they account for 15% of the world’s poor, according to a study published by the United Nations. Indigenous Food Sovereignty is an approach to help address that issue, among others, that face Indigenous communities. The Indigenous Food Systems Network describes the multi-faceted concept of Indigenous Food Sovereignty like this: 

    “The food sovereignty movement is building around the world and while there is no universal definition, it can be described as the newest and most innovative approach to achieving the end goal of long term food security. Indigenous food sovereignty is a specific policy approach to addressing the underlying issues impacting Indigenous peoples and our ability to respond to our own needs for healthy, culturally adapted Indigenous foods. Community mobilization and the maintenance of multi-millennial cultural harvesting strategies and practices provide a basis for forming and influencing policy driven by practice.”

    As a relatively new undertaking in the world of policy, these concepts are all about returning to information, methods and practices that span thousands of years on this land. Many organizations have taken it upon themselves to push Indigenous Food Sovereignty forward, and this blog will highlight just a few of them. These widespread local efforts aim to transform and reclaim local food systems in a way that benefits the Indigenous communities of the regions they exist in. This spans actions from combating hunger, increasing access to healthy and traditional foods, enhancing community health, and creating food policies, to targeting food as a mechanism for entrepreneurship and economic development amongst Indigenous communities.

    As part of the First Nations Development Institute’s mission to “Strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities”, a three year collaborative film process took place. The goal of the film was to show the work of First Nations’ grantees and partners as they supported Indigenous communities to build sustainable foodways to improve health, strengthen food security and increase control over Native agriculture and food systems. The film, titled GATHER can be found streaming on Netflix.

    Outside of education on the topic, you may be thinking to yourself, how can I support this movement? Luckily, there has already been a list compiled of 28 Global Organizations promoting Indigenous Food Sovereignty that has some great organizations that are always in need of monetary donations to continue their mission.

     

    Other Resources:

    USDA Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative

     

    Indigenous Seed Keepers Network

     

    Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI)

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