Symposium highlights Indigenous food sovereignty

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – The Intertribal Council on Agriculture, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and the Center for Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University have worked together to raise awareness of Indigenous food sovereignty.

One of the protesters makes a traditional maize and wild rice mill. The bootagaan food mill was one of many demonstrations used to show how we can use the nature around us to develop sustainable and healthy food practices.

Sunday was the last day of the three-day Food Sovereignty Symposium in parts of Northern Michigan University, Marquette’s Tourist Park and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

“Food sovereignty is life and the sustaining of life, and it’s really important for our communities and our people to really understand that food sovereignty is something that we should all hold dear and that we need to consider as a priority. “said Charlee Brisesette, a Bootagaan demonstrator.

One of the event organizers says he is happy that the event is coming back in person after two years and seeing everyone’s smiling faces.

“We want to help people connect with like-minded people and be inspired,” said event organizer Daniel Cornelius.

In addition to the protesters, members of Northern Michigan University Food Services also helped provide kitchen space and prepare food.

“Seeing all the really amazing ways to cook, for example bison, we’ve had grilled bison, smoked bison, braised bison and all these different ways to cook, one ingredient really highlights the versatility of that ingredient. “, Alden Griffus said the executive chef of NMU Dining Services.

Corneilius said he was grateful for the community support for helping to make the event a success.

“Thank you to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and Northern Michigan University and the entire area for hosting everyone this weekend,” Corneilius said.

At the end of the event, the symposium highlighted sustainable Indigenous food practices and brought the community together to celebrate Indigenous knowledge and teachings.

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Donald E. Patel