Sovereign Seeds, food security & COVID 19
Across the world, Indigenous communities are steadily moving towards food sovereignty, in harmony with the reclamation and healing of seed rematriation. Today, we learn about this movement through the work of Sovereign Seeds, an Indigenous-led network dedicated to supporting Indigenous seed sovereignty and ancestral food relationships.
Sovereign Seeds exists to “support the revitalization, transmission, and vitality of Indigenous peoples’ seeds and seed cultures for the health of our people and the territories we depend on.” Sovereign Seeds combines collective seed visioning with relational action. By cultivating seed education opportunities, collaborative spaces, and tools, they contribute to Indigenous seed efforts by nurturing and strengthening ancestral seed practices.
Grounded in anti-oppressive grassroots programming, sustenance justice, food sovereignty, and climate resiliency, the program has been working tirelessly to facilitate meaningful opportunities for Indigenous people, on behalf of Sovereign Seeds’ mandate to strengthen seed keeping efforts. This is most evident in the COVID-19 Crisis Response Circle which nurtures and provides seed access throughout Turtle Island.
There is a growing inter-generational movement of Indigenous people carrying the rematriation of seeds and foods back into our Indigenous communities. This movement began long before COVID 19. The Indigenous Seed Keepers Network also works to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island.
Many Indigenous seed keepers have been faced with the decision to gift seed for food at the risk of losing an ancestral variety. Throughout these precarious times, many COVID-19 funding solutions have been implemented without Indigenous communities’ collaboration and consent, leading to ineffective response efforts and deepened harms.
Communities impacted by such factors as racism, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, colonialism, and ableism know best the solutions and pathways for healthier, just realities for their people.
As the group moves towards its first growing season in operation, the collective effort to bring food security and the healing connections of plantkin and land to Indigenous communities is its own healing model. The group includes experienced Seed Keepers generously offering their time and commitment to restoring traditional food knowledge in their respective communities.
Show your support for these grassroots efforts and support the COVID-19 Indigenous Seed Crisis Response Circle.
Practice Decolonization. Building a new relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples built upon mutuality and respect is a process of unlearning and learning and practicing decolonization. Today’s action is to take one step on that journey.
- If you are not already familiar with KAIROS’ Strength for Climbing: Steps on the Journey of Reconciliation, download it and review some of the ways that you can commit to this process through reflection, learning and action. If you are already familiar with this resource, review it again and see if there is something you have not done yet or could do again.
- Refer to this Decolonization Guide from Geez Magazine.
- Share your resources for decolonization with the hashtags: #KAIROSClimateAct and #30DayKAIROSChallenge