The Pokagon Band Food Sovereignty Committee hosted an indigenous dinner and a mobile native farmers market May 22 at the Pokagon Community Center. Nearly one hundred people attended this community event, tasting and buying heirloom and indigenous foods and hearing a presentation on food sovereignty.
Dan Cornelius from the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) and members of the committee talked about how before contact with Europeans, the Potawatomi in Michiana cultivated wild rice, tapped sugar maple trees, harvested berries, and grew vegetables. Many of those traditions and food varieties were lost over the next centuries, but now the Pokagon Band is starting to reclaim its food sovereignty. Efforts include prepping its agricultural land for organic farming, promoting indigenous foods at tribal events and reviving maple sugar and wild rice production on Pokagon land.
Cornelius and the IAC aid Indian tribes and native farmers, ranchers and food producers. They operate the mobile farmers market to expand producers’ market access and increase availability of fresh, healthy, and traditional foods to tribal communities.