An appreciative inquiry and inventory of Indigenous food sovereignty initiatives within the western U.S.
Keywords:Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Appreciative Inquiry, Systematic Search, Inventory, Interconnection, Adaptability, Cultural Revitalization, Western United States
Indigenous food sovereignty is informed by—and is a framework and movement that supports—all the various means through which Indigenous people are revitalizing and reclaiming their traditional foodways. These efforts incorporate established values, processes, and outcomes, including relationality, self-determination, decolonization, and wellbeing. Through appreciative inquiry, this research inventories Indigenous food sovereignty initiatives in the western United States and identifies their common themes and key features. A systematic search of scholarly and popular sources yielded a database of 123 initiatives that vary by type, land base, and geographic location. Three themes emerged across initiatives. First, concrete strategies include growing and food production, harvesting and food acquisition, food preparation, and distribution and exchange. Second, cultural revitalization occurs through community development, youth and young adult education, other forms of education, and regenerating cultural identity through traditions. Finally, initiative foundations include advocacy, policy, and environmental stewardship; funding mechanisms; and partnerships with non-Indigenous actors. Across themes, individual initiatives include numerous interconnected food sovereignty efforts and demonstrate the adaptive capacities of Indigenous people. This research compiles and aims to respectfully celebrate the myriad ways Indigenous people in the western U.S. are revitalizing their foodways as part of a larger movement toward Indigenous food sovereignty.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Ashley Babcock, Rachael Budowle
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