The Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance (NAFSA) is a Native-led food and seed sovereignty nonprofit innovator that works to advocate for, and support, all levels of food security and food sovereignty in local, tribal, regional, national, and international arenas. As a national network of Indigenous leaders dedicated to restoring food systems that support tribal self-determination, community wellness, and relationship with the lands, waters, plants, and animals that sustain us, NAFSA’s seed-to-table suite of programs assist in the reclamation of Indigenous traditions and complement other community initiatives. Mentorship, empowerment, and capacity-building are central to NAFSA’s work, as is tending the mycelial networks of resources, information, and people engaged in Indigenous food sovereignty work.
ISKN program director Rowen White takes us through her unique holistic, Indigenous permaculture approach to seed stewardship, which honors the many layers of seed culture that are rooted in an Indigenous ecology of interconnected relations.
During the pandemic, as increasing numbers of Indigenous people began growing their own food, the Regional Indigenous Seed Growers Cooperative, a project born out of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, responded by addressing the growing need for seed.
In 2018, the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network organized the first of sixty seed rematriations—returning varieties of ancient seeds to Native American communities that had been lost to colonialism and violence.