Growing Intergenerational Resilience for Indigenous Food Sovereignty through Home Gardening


  • Rachael Budowle University of Wyoming
  • Melvin L. Arthur University of Wyoming
  • Christine M. Porter University of Wyoming



Intergenerational Resilience, Food Sovereignty, Community Resilience, Social-Ecological Systems, Sovereign Storytelling, Growing Resilience, Indigenous, Historical Trauma


As a community-based participatory research pro­ject designed to promote health and wellbeing, Growing Resilience supports home gardens for 96 primarily Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho families in the Wind River Reservation, located in Wyoming. Through analysis of data from two years of qualitative fieldwork, including stories told by 53 gardeners and members of the project’s commu­nity advisory board in talking circles and through our novel sovereign storytelling method, we investigated if and how these participants employ rela­tionships, knowledge, and practices across gen­era­tions through home gardening. We find that partic­ipants describe home gardening within pre­sent, past, future, and cross-generational frames, rooted in family relationships and knowledge shared across generations. Our analysis of these themes suggests that gardening provides families a means to transmit resilience across generations or, as we call it here, intergenerational resilience. We con­clude by discussing intergenerational resilience as a culturally specific mechanism of social-ecological community resilience that may be particularly rele­vant in Indigenous movements for food sover­eignty.

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Author Biographies

Rachael Budowle, University of Wyoming

Assistant Professor, Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources

Melvin L. Arthur, University of Wyoming

Research Scientist, Department of Kinesiology & Health, College of Health Sciences

Christine M. Porter, University of Wyoming

Associate Professor and Wyoming Excellence Chair of Community and Public Health; Growing Resilience Principal Investigator; Division of Kinesiology & Health, College of Health Sciences



How to Cite

Budowle, R., Arthur, M., & Porter, C. (2019). Growing Intergenerational Resilience for Indigenous Food Sovereignty through Home Gardening. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(B), 145–165.



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