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ERIC Number: EJ917662
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1052-5505
Building on Tradition--Tribal Colleges Can Lead the Way to Food Sovereignty
Phillips, John
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, v22 n3 p15-20 Spr 2011
Fort Belknap Indian Reservation's food system typifies that of many rural communities. Most food is grown and processed hundreds or thousands of miles away and transported long distances before it reaches the local grocery shelf. Like oil and gas, food prices are largely determined by international commodity markets driven by global supply, demand, and speculation. Demand and profitability often determine what products lie on a store's shelf--not health and nutrition. Strengthening a community's local food system means relying less on outside food supplies and taking control of food choices. The Fort Belknap Demonstration Garden is one important strategy being employed to build the local food system on the reservation. Food sovereignty refers to policies that express the rights of peoples to define their own food systems and includes agriculture, livestock, and fisheries systems. For American Indian tribes, food sovereignty is also an expression of tribal sovereignty. That means food sovereignty expands tribal rights and powers to food systems and traditional plants, animals, and knowledge related to food production. In practical terms, food sovereignty encompasses promoting nutritious diets and diabetes prevention, boosting food-related income and decreasing food costs, protecting the environment and natural resources, managing tribal land and water rights, restoring and preserving cultural food knowledge and practices, and increasing the resilience of tribal communities against natural or man-made disasters. These issues require long-term strategic thinking and action at all levels within the tribe. This article discusses how tribal colleges can lead the way to food sovereignty.
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education. P.O. Box 720, Mancos, CO 81328. Tel: 888-899-6693; Fax: 970-533-9145; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A