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Food sovereignty highlighted at festival
By Pat Aune, United Tribes Land Grant Programs Director
26 July 2012

Sticky hot weather under a tent for two weeks is a challenge for those who prefer the dry prairie of the Northern Plains or the cool climate of the Pacific Northwest.

But that was the assignment for tribal college educators from United Tribes Technical College and Northwest Indian College who were involved in the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival June 27-July 1 and July 4-8 on the National Mall in Washington, DC.


UTTC shared the Buffalo Box with exhibit visitors and demonstrated how to make Wasna and buffalo pizza in the food demonstration kitchen.
Pat Aune <> United Tribes News

The event commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Land Grant University system established by the Morrill Act. UTTC and NWIC represented the 37 tribal colleges that received land grant status in 1994.

The tribal colleges staffed an exhibit and presented educational and interpretive programming that emphasized food sovereignty. Food sovereignty is the ever-expanding description of our right to manage our food environment. Hunting and gathering of traditional foods, medicinal uses of native plants, gardening, local food production, food security and traditional knowledge of foods, plants and animals are included in food sovereignty discussions and study.


NWIC displayed a Cedar Box with medicinal plants and samples of pemmican, dried berries and salmon jerky. Their food demonstration introduced the audiences to rosehip jam and fizz, summer salad.
Pat Aune <> United Tribes News

Visitors were keenly interested in the tribal college displays and information. Stopping at the exhibit were visitors to Washington, DC and the Folklife Festival, and employees of various government agencies and organizations. They were able to touch a buffalo hide, swat flies with a buffalo tail and make a cedar bracelet under the instruction of basket weaver Theresa Parker an enrolled Makah from Neah Bay, Washington.

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

Randy Two Crow, UTTC Criminal Justice student and horticulture assistant (Oglala Tribe, Kyle, SD) shared his experience in tanning hides, organic gardening and gardening and traditional food gathering. His presentations proved to be a crowd-pleaser, especially when youth and adults gathered around the buffalo box.

Amber Allery, UTTC on-line student, and Cynthia Allery, Nutrition and Chemical Health Educator, introduced audiences to the nutritional value of traditional diets and how food choices affect diabetes and other illnesses.

Annette Broyles, Nutrition and Foodservice instructor, demonstrated buffalo uses and shared classroom methods and experiences.

Wanda Agnew, Registered Dietitian, spoke at Smithsonian U on the topic: “Food is More than Something to Eat.”

Pat Aune, Land Grant Director, spoke at Smithsonian U on the topic: “Forty Years of Food Safety Education.”

Pat coordinated the exhibit and served as on-site contact person. She also presented about the Land Grant system, emphasizing the food and agriculture education provided by the Tribal Colleges, and shared about timpsila (prairie turnip), sweet grass and other traditional plants.

The food sovereignty exhibit used at the Folklife Festive will be on display August 15 to September 30 in the United Tribes Skill Center under the title “Key Ingredients.” The exhibit is open to the public. More information: UTTC Land Grant office 701-255-3285 x 1399, paune@uttc.edu.



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