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TCUs to participate in DC Folklife Festival

29 May 2012

BISMARCK (UTN) - Two tribal colleges will be involved in the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival this summer on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck, ND and Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, WA, have been invited to take part in the annual festival that attracts over one-million people.

Tribal colleges are leaders in the Native wellness movement, focusing on tribal food sovereignty.
DENNIS J. NEUMANN <> United Tribes News

The event is scheduled for June 27-July 1 and July 4-8 outdoors near the Smithsonian museums in the nation’s capitol.

Representing United Tribes will be members of the college’s Land Grant Program and Nutrition and Food Service Program.

At the festival, educators from UTTC and NWIC will focus on food sovereignty initiatives taking place at tribal colleges across the country.

A special feature of the 2012 festival will be programs and exhibits recognizing the 150th anniversary of the U. S. Department of Agriculture the start of land grant colleges and universities in every state and territory.

Tribal colleges have only recently received land grant status. In 1994, funding was first made available to TCUs from the USDA’s National Institute of Agriculture for food and agriculture programs. Since then, many of the, so called, 1994 Land-Grant TCUs have become leaders in the wellness movement in Indian Country by focusing on tribal food sovereignty—the right of people to shape and control their own food systems.

The 1994s have been educating communities about public policy, local food systems (past and present), and traditional plants and animals used for food, medicine, and ceremonial purposes.

At the festival, the two TCU’s will display live plants, demonstrate traditional food storage container making (baskets and hides), and provide Native American music. There will also be storytelling about the “Three Sisters” (corn, beans and squash), and instruction about drying vegetables and fruits, and substituting modern food ingredients in traditional recipes.

Research confirms the nutritional value of culturally important plant foods, such as buffalo berries, stinging nettles and chokecherry. Native foods may be healing tools, especially when paired with physical activity, to combat obesity and diabetes in tribal communities. Local food production projects include traditional gathering and hunting, as well as farmers’ markets, community gardens, and a research-demonstration garden.

Attending the festival from United Tribes will be: Pat Aune, Land Grant Programs Director; Colette Wolf, Land Grant Horticulture Extension Educator; Cynthia Allery, Land Grant Nutrition Educator; Annette Broyles, Nutrition and Food Service Program Chair/Instructor; Wanda Agnew, Nutrition and Food Service Instructor; and Amber Allery, a Bismarck High School senior enrolled in a UTTC on-line class.

Admission to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is free. For more information visit this website: http://www.festival.si.edu/index.aspx


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