Sovereignty / by Karie Luidens

Seed Bank.jpg

Yesterday I summarized some rather unsettling information imparted to our seed-saving class by Joe Hall, who practices traditional Osage farming in Oklahoma. Here are a few more quotes I copied into my notebook over the course of the weekend, as spoken off the cuff by classmates or shared secondhand from others around the world:

“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.”

Declaration of Nyéléni
first global forum on food sovereignty
Mali, 2007

“When just a couple of corporations control your seeds, they control your whole ecosystems.”

Anne T.
grew up on a large family farm in Nebraska
that continues to practice industrial agriculture

“If you control the food, you control the people.”

Vandana Shiva
activist and author

“If you control the seeds, you control the food.”

Melissa Kruse-Peeples
PhD, Anthropology
Education Coordinator at Native Seeds/SEARCH

“As a Native American man, if we don’t save seeds, just like our languages, it’s gone.”

Loren Emerson
chef and owner
Emerson Fry Bread

“Tribes can’t truly be considered sovereign unless they’re able to feed themselves.”

Keir Johnson
Pacific Region Technical Assistance Specialist
Intertribal Agriculture Council