Indigenous Foods Knowledges Network: Facilitating Exchange between Arctic and Southwest Indigenous Communities on Food and Knowledge Sovereignty

Year

On a sunny morning in June of 2019, our hosts at the Athabaskan Nay'dini'aa Na'Kayax' Culture Camp, located near Chickaloon Native Village in south-central Alaska, set up a table near the smoke house and demonstrated how to fillet salmon. It was salmon season in Chickaloon, and young campers were learning how to process fish: how to fillet, smoke, and preserve it in oil. First, children and youth from the camp were given the chance to practice their knife skills, with adults standing behind them and offering encouragement and gentle correction of technique when it was needed. Adults also taught the children Ahtna words (Ahtna is part of the Athabaskan language group) and stories as they prepared the salmon. After the children had all had a turn, camp leaders offered our group of visitors the chance to try. Amy Juan, a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation (located within the Sonoran Desert in south central Arizona) , eagerly stepped forward. "I've always wanted to learn how to fillet fish!" she said, explaining that since she came from a desert people, she had never had the chance to try.

Resource Type
Citation

Johnson, N,. Jäger, M.B., Jennings, L., Juan, A., Carroll, S.R., & Ferguson DB. (March 2020). Indigenous Foods Knowledges Network: Facilitating Exchange between Arctic and Southwest Indigenous Communities on Food and Knowledge Sovereignty.” Witness Community Highlights Arcus.org/witness-the-arctic

Transcripts for all videos are available by request. Please email us: nni@arizona.edu.

Related Resources

Thumbnail or cover image
The Impact of COVID19 on Food Access for Alaska Natives in 2020

This chapter in the NOAA Arctic Report Card 2021 highlights: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges for Alaska Natives in accessing traditional and store-bought foods. The strength of Indigenous cultural and economic practices such as food sharing networks helped mitigate these…

Image
Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool

There are many assets related to Native food systems. Increased consumption of healthy and traditional foods may lead to better health among community members, preserving one of the most important assets in any community, its people. Of course, healthy, productive people are a cornerstone of any…

Image
Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin: Food Sovereignty, Safe Water, and Tribal Law

An example of a Native American community working to achieve food sovereignty not only with physical nutrients but also with social elements is the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. This article analyzes the strengths of the Oneida Tribe's approach to preserving water quality and fishing…