Whole Family Wellness
Hello friends and relatives. Welcome back to another episode of All. My relations were so happy. You're here Hello. Good morning good afternoon. Good evening hello hello. We have a really great episode for you today. We're talking with DOS Collins and Chelsea Lugar of the welfare culture initiative. They are two of our friends and colleagues who we have known for a long time in different areas of their life And we recorded this episode of few months ago back when Michigan was still pregnant so it was a really amazing opportunity to talk with them about the work that they do In thinking about wellness from a really kind of holistic perspective and indigenous perspective and how that takes into account we eat how we move our bodies what we think about especially during The time of life that Mantica was en and that Chelsea had been in not long Before her so we were bonus. Double excited 'cause we knew we had this episode coming and a couple of weeks ago in the New York Times. There was an article about food movements in Indian country and it featured Some really beautiful photographs of Fashion Chelsea and their daughter aloe And talked to them a little bit about the work they do. So what we thought. That could be a really great entry point into our conversation. thinking that many people might have encountered. They're work recently in the New York Times but then again I started actually reading the article and the article did what did what we always see. Which is that. It reinforced that poverty porn narrative and framed native people. You know from this perspective that put them in a place of of danger of survival as extinction they think it's essentially another extinction narrative. Almost and so I'd be really interested Adrian and in wondering how you might frame that if you were going to let say bright this article for the New York Times Okay so I am someone in my education research world. I think a lot about what we call deficit framing and it's something that You see a lot in research about quote unquote marginalized communities about native students in particular Where our communities? Our students are whoever we're talking about are always framed as lacking as As needing interventions as needing resources as being just framed is in a deficit Perspective and the difference between a deficit perspective. And then one. That is more in my work. I used the word. Goodness focus or like Asset based is looking at things from a position of strength and what communities already have and what they're bringing to the table and so this article is from the beginning. It's called how native Americans are fighting food crisis and the subtitle is as the corona virus limits access to food many are relying on customs like seed saving and canning that helped their forebears survive hard times so from the start. It's framed as though the corona virus is what is causing a food crisis in Indian country. And because of this moment all of a sudden people are returning to stroll knowledge is in traditional customs quote unquote which is like a word. I hate It's very anthropological. But they go on to The reporter interviews people that are incredible leaders in these areas in their communities. Folks that she actually Got Access to a lot of the names from my friend and colleague Liz Hoover who is an incredible food sovereignty researcher who is not mentioned anywhere in the article but The folks that are profiled in here people that we know their their names through this work. Milo yellow hair in weight loss and Chelsea Rebecca and Stephen Webster in night a Folks in San Carlos like it's just a a list of really incredible leaders but they're all framed as there's a crisis and they are reacting to it rather than if I would have written this article to your question. I very clearly would have framed. This as here is a moment where we are worried about the food supply chain in what is currently known as the United States. And here's a chance for us to look to indigenous communities as leaders in how to take care of one another and how to use and social and traditional knowledge is that have always been there To lead us through this moment and into a future that looks different than what we have now. A better and brighter future around our food and food security because a lot of these communities that are profiled here actually like aren't in a moment of crisis around their food systems they are just shifting their policies and practices to to what people are needing right now. And that's a beautiful model that a lot of communities be learning from like the work that Brian Yazdi is doing in. Minneapolis around feeding Urban elders and community members through traditional foods. That in itself is an amazing story. And instead it's just a little blip in this article about how he didn't have any catering jobs so started volunteering. So I just think the framing of it overall could have really been from this point of strength talking about that. Our communities know how to help one another no. The power of traditional foods know how to work with the land that they live on All of these things that are really important lessons for everyone rather than framing it as some sort of food crisis and yes like we do have food insecurity in Indian country. There's also a lot of amazing lessons that can be learned from the work that these folks have been doing for decades. This isn't something that just popped up in the last few months lifetimes of work that people have been putting in to get us to this point to be able to access those resources and serve our communities in the ways that they need right Like the the ability. I noticed in this article that they talk about some Alaska fishermen and hunters and that these folks are doing this. You know to prepare for crisis. When in fact we know especially I being able to relate to fishing culture that we go fishing and put up food for winter and every springtime. You know it's something that my family has been doing for generations and our communities have been doing generations and it's a part of the intergenerational knowledge that we highly value in our communities. I was taken back when I read the book about Rohan White Because Rohan white is one of those women that Hey I hope we introduce you to on this podcast but B. I think of a Shiro. She's one of my. She's one of the most inspiring women I've ever encountered in all of Indian country. I had the privilege of taking one of her seed saving workshops and I was so moved by her indigenous intelligence her connection to land in her connection to seeds. And how empowering an empowered I felt after spending just one afternoon with her where she gave me seeds and made me feel like it was okay to grow them and how that important and she's been doing this work for a very long time and she started a whole food sovereignty movement along with Liz and others and in this article it talks about her growing heirloom seeds. Which is I think. It's just wrong. Because she doesn't grow heirloom seeds. She grows pre colonized seeds. Oh she she grows ancestral seeds. And you know it also says that she's doing this as a as a response to closed casino revenue which is so silly ruins been doing this empowering people because the people needed and because she was called to do this work and because she's been doing it for a really long time and I don't want to speak for her you know but I just. I'm really disappointed with the way that we are. Continuously framed in massive media and mass media especially in this New York Times article. I really hope that there will come a time that maybe instead you get to write the article nuts an outsider writing it for us.