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06-08-20 Coronavirus concerns disrupt Native meat suppliers

Native America Calling

56:30 min | 1 year ago

06-08-20 Coronavirus concerns disrupt Native meat suppliers

"Welcome to native America calling from Studio Forty nine. In Albuquerque. I'm Tara Gatewood. Outbreaks of Covid, nineteen among people working in large processing plant are a health risk and reports aides slowing down production. This situation is also causing problems for some native producers cattle ranchers. And it's having an effect on what consumers have available at certain stories coming up, we're going to hear about the challenges in the food supply chain as more people navigate the endemic. We live right after national lead of news. This is National Native News Antonio. Gonzales the Mashpee womp og tribe, the National Congress of American Indians and the United South and eastern tribes are urging the Department of the Interior to reaffirm the status of the Massachusetts tribes reservation after a federal court, Friday ruled in favor of the tribe. The Interior Department had intended to disestablish the tribes reservation. The US District, court for. For the District of Columbia found the Interior Department's two thousand eighteen decision. The tribe did not qualify under federal jurisdiction was arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law in a statement Chairman Cedric Cromwell said the court righted. What would have been a terrible injustice and committed to fight if necessary to ensure their land remains entrust as the interior department is ordered to reevaluate its decision. Minnesota Department of Health. Officials say they're increasing the amount of COVID, nineteen testing among people who have attended protests over the death of George Floyd Melissa Townsend reports. Thousands of people have been gathering together across Minnesota for nearly two weeks. Floyd was an African American man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Health, officials say these gatherings put many at risk for contracting covid nineteen. Mario and is a at physician and head of the center of American Indian and minority health at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth while I'm really fearful of impact. The protests are going to have on rising rates of Cova and I have to admit. I went down to one of them myself because they just felt like they needed to be there. And also just let African American people in particular. Know about the solitaire. But I do worry Minnesota's Commissioner of Health Jan. Malcolm says her department will step up testing. The coronavirus takes about a week to incubate so Malcolm is encouraging people to get tested about a week after they'd been at large gathering for national. Native News. I'm Melissa Townsend. The Canadian government has delayed its promised National Action Plan to tackle systemic racism, facing the country's indigenous people down carpet has more recently announced the delay in implementing the plan because of the covid nineteen pandemic, the plan followed last year's inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. That inquiry presented its final report in June, and it concluded that decades of systemic racism and human rights violations had contributed to hundreds of missing. Missing in murdered indigenous women and girls over the years, Sheila North is a former grand chief of northern Manitoba. She says she's disheartened. By the delay in the action plan against systemic racism, north also takes exception to comments made by at least one Canadian political leader that systemic racism does not exist in Canada as it does in the US I go meet that the mothers and the sisters and family members of the ones. Ones that have been taken a very very sensitive and touchy subject, and for people to be blatant, and to be so dismissive like that is just reminiscent of what they've been dealing with for many generations and very hurtful to here, and it's very concerning to know that this this kind of thinking still persistent Canada North says indigenous people make up just over four percent of the Canadian population, but more than twenty four percent. percent of the country's prison population. She says there are parallels in what's happening to black Americans and indigenous Canadians. Especially in their interactions with police, she says the biggest difference between the two countries is that the death of George? Floyd was caught on camera. She adds racially motivated. Incidents take place daily to Canada's indigenous people, but out of the public's eye for national native news. I'm Dan Kerpen. Chuck and Damian Tonio Gonzales. National Native News is produced by Broadcast Corporation with funding by the corporation for public broadcasting. It's the circle of life that teaches us to take care of each other to use our voice when we are in need like the circle of life, there is an opportunity that comes around every ten years a chance to participate and let others know who we are, and where we are the twenty twenty cents, this will be our opportunity to shape our future for generations to come shape our future start here learn more at twenty twenty cents a stock G. O. V. paid for by US Census Bureau. Native won the native American Radio Network. This, is native America calling I'm Tara Gate. Would have you heard about me? Processors having a hard time getting back to pre Karuna virus production levels because of the potential for infection outbreaks among their employees. In May the Centers for disease, control and Prevention reported nearly five thousand covid nineteen cases in more than one hundred meat processing plants across the country. That put a pause and some meat production, and the effects of that are affecting cattle, ranchers, and the availability of meat in certain stores distance despite President Donald Trump's executive order requiring meat processing plants to remain open. Many plants have limited operations because of the outbreaks. In this hour we'll talk about current food supply chains, and how some tribes are working to adjust, you can join us to. Are you concerned about your food supply chain Are you a farmer rancher? Who is feeling the effects of covid nineteen? Give us a call at one eight hundred. Hundred nine, six, two, eight, four eight, and does your tribe operate at culture businesses? Are you creating your own food sovereignty by growing a garden or keeping chickens for the first time because of covid nineteen? If you want to join us, our phone lines are open. The numbers, also one, eight, hundred, nine, nine, native and today. We're GONNA. Start off in Eagle Butte South Dakota. We Have Zach do show. He is the executive director for the Intertribal Agricultural Council, and he is Cheyenne River Sioux our pleasure to have him here with us. Today Zach Welcome. Thank you good to beer. Insect tells a little bit about how covid nineteen has affected your operations. From the organizational standpoint, our operations, most of our work happens at the producers. or at conferences, so we've had to really real back in our our conference attendance and our workshops that we hold. So. That's been challenging to to make those connections where we're out there. Providing the curriculum that we've spent the last three decades building help improve food systems. From the perspective of AG producers all across the country. The the effects of coded and pandemic. Really, are just laying bare the underlying problems that we've existed. With, since the since four beginning in fourteen, ninety one we, we have an inherently fragile and unsustainable food system. And are are Indian country it food economies are. Microcosm of that. My reservation here, the Cheyenne River Sioux we grew forty to fifty thousand head of the best beef cattle in the country every year. Are Tribal. Grocery store was rationing hamburger. because. We couldn't get enough from our suppliers. So we're. We're existing within this. Brittle fragile foods system structure. Where all of our natural resources in the form of commodities are exported. And then we import food into our into our grocery stores and retailers so that that's been really challenging and. The way that's affected the producers. Is. It's put a lot more weight on the industrial corporate agriculture. Influence in the system. They're limiting the supply. That's coming out of those factories even before they had any outbreaks. So that they can say. There's a backlog so that they can say that they can pay less for the products coming in. While, they're just piling up. Product that they're going to sell at an increased rate because they're saying there's not enough to go along, so it's. It's been real challenging Few months for our producers, the lack of Tangible efforts on behalf of the USDA have continued to to prove frustrating, but we're starting to see some movement there. and. Very early on in this, we decided that we were gonNA take a survey of our tribal tribal businesses or tribal lack producers, and and we got some really interesting results. Eighty three percent of our producers have already been adversely affected by by ten thousand dollars or more. In in their egg production this early into this crisis. And that's what the understanding that most of our producers are going to be marketing their product. From. August through December as the production cycle comes to a close for this year. So it's the we're already seeing tangible effects that are that are really going to resonate throughout our tribal governments because a number `nother. Component of this food system is that many of our tribal nations that are that have a large land base bigger than their tribal farm could actually operate on their own. Or permit that land out to their tribal members or others. And that income goes to support basic government functions, so there's GonNa. Be a double whammy coming this fall when producers. Existing in this world of uncertainty may realize. Lower sales income. And may not be able to pay those rental or lease payments. Well in you know just thinking of everything that is connected to this in how the system works it. Sometimes people don't understand this, but there's a lot that's coming to light, and we're learning things that maybe we didn't consider before because of the pandemic in what it showing when there is a glitch. Glitch in the system where the system or the link is broken and so for us, AC? understanding the importance of safety in all this. Has Anything else changed in in the way? production is going specially in cattle. we see many news stories of infections at different meat processing plant anything you want to share about connection to that or even keeping safe. What? We've really emphasized to our our tribal constituency icees membership is all federally recognized tribes and Alaska. Native villages and we've really stressed the importance even more so in light of this. Of developing local food systems and part of that. In. The central part of that is four tribes. To stand up and exercise their sovereign right to have their own food safety standards approved. Which would then create the pathway for local and regional processing facilities, whether it's meat, processing, or grain, handling or vegetable or or farmers markets? We have to have our producers producing to the tribal standard, not trying to conform to some state standard. or or a federal standard that has. Created without the understanding of our of our remote locations and our economic situation. Can you describe what it is you're you're. You're talking about of those standards that would be there for tribes, and that would work with the system as opposed to trying to fit in to state or federal describe what you mean. Absolutely, so in order to sell will just US beef, since we've talked a little bit about cows in order to sell meat to an individual. We would have to take that. Meet and have it processed that either state inspected facility or a federally inspected facility. And, only then could we sell the product? When? You know a significant number of our population have the capacity to be butchering their own livestock, they they hunt and fish for subsistence on a pretty regular basis, so they know their way around the processing of an animal. Our tribes have yet to take that step into cementing and tribal policy from the position of tribal sovereignty. Guidelines for the food safety and the regulation of the processing facilities that May. Exist within their jurisdiction, so has as a result. We've got our friends at the CO-OP. Tribe in Oklahoma have a state of the art processing facility, but they have to have federal inspection on it. In order to market their product. Even across the state line there into Arkansas. If they tribe does a thoughtful job of standing up its food safety regulations. Those can then be vetted by other jurisdictions, and they could say hey, you know that works as long as it's got. The Cheyenne River Sioux tribe stamp of approval. We know that the safety of the food product is there, and we will comfortably allow that to come into our jurisdiction. The challenge that we face right now is. We have the federal inspection that requires that. From say South Dakota to Auckland Homework and vice versa, but we've got the big four meatpackers who all have overseas processing facilities that don't have that same regulation on him, so we're. We're competing against overseas slaughter facilities that have an easy pathway into our stores when our local producers don't. Interesting and Zach in terms of where people stand now. Is there anybody or any tribes that? You've heard about who are saying. You know what we do need to get on board. Let's start. This is lessons learned from the pandemic. Any that you know Zach. There are a lot of tribes that are really taking a closer look at the. China Russia try. Princeton has a couple of producer groups that are trying trying to stand up a producer cooperative I know the tribes. Starting to take a look at maybe some processing capacity the co-op PA. Tribe was kind of already prepared for this because they had the facility built. And the federal inspection. As a result of their preparedness. Able to facilitate. The delivery of several loads of hawks that were to be euthanized down there to qua- so they were able to distribute them in their community and it just because they had the infrastructure in place already other tribes that are working towards this Black Sea. Nation in Montana is working on a multi-species. processing facility. These ability plan there's there's a a a probably more tribes than we could. Go into and just an hour's time. Moving towards this I know Navajo Nation always had a lot of. Activity over at the NOVELA AG products, industry and The some of the Pueblos or coming online with some. Local farm to market type of stuff, our brothers and sisters over here in the Great Lakes region have a very active food sovereignty movement. Where they're starting to do some trade in in in between tribal nations to try to try to provide food that they couldn't grow in their own territory, so we're seeing this list grow in. Maybe you know about your trip jumping this or their lessons that have been learned a because of the shortage of supply when it comes to what we need in our communities, or maybe even servicing a whole state, any thoughts join us right now. One, eight, hundred, nine, nine, six, two, eight, four eight. Doctors nurses and emergency medical technicians remain on the front lines of fighting corona virus. They're having to adjust to long hours and shifting information about best practices. We'll hear from some of those working to test and treat people during the pandemic. That's on the next native America calling. A. We. A. Was Be. Sir. Twenty shape our future start here learn more at twenty twenty cents DOT G-O-V A. Paid for by US Census Bureau. You're listening to native America, calling interrogate would and today we are talking about food supply chains. Hell fast does it take? To get some of the items. You need a especially coming from your local grocery store. has cova nineteen cause some hiccups. Go ahead and join us. One, eight, hundred, nine, nine, six, two, eight, four. Eight is a number to tell us what you've experienced. Are you having a harder time accessing food in these times? Do you know why one eight hundred, nine, nine, six, two, eight, four, eight is number also one eight, hundred, nine, nine native with us. Today is Act Douche. No, he's executive director for the Intertribal Agricultural Council also here to out of the Quad PA nation from a CO-OP PA? Today. We have Chris Roper. He is the director of Agriculture for the COPA. Nation Chris, my pleasure, a heavy here and Zach told us a little bit about some of the things that are going on there in your nation with the production to Go ahead and share a little bit more of what you've learned through this pandemic, and how important what you're doing is to make sure that food is getting out there. Welcome Chris go ahead. Thank you. Thanks, thanks for having me you mentioned that there's been a movement across the nation for many ears to for for all of our communities to get back to more basics into be more food secure, and and have taken back the food sovereignty responsibility in our communities inside the tribes. You know not only through you know growing vegetables and you know producing animals and and processing meat it's it's just really vital for us to. Take control of that food supply, and it's just became more parent all the things that we've been fighting for for the last several years that this pandemic has made them. Stand out further as people go to the grocery stores and find empty shelves. They're realizing that they need to take more control of their own food systems, and we've started this several years back. And even you know as we mentioned meat processing plant, but we open that back in two thousand seventeen. A lot of challenges along the way, but you know during this pandemic, we've been able to control or proteins in our community for tribe members. even though the grocery store shelves are empty. We were able to control or meat processing, and to keep our stores stocked full of beef and Bison products, so that our community members had access to good solid proteins There were a few times that we had to ration the quantities as people were trying to You know by more than what they actually needed at one time, so we were trying to control that, but we never had to limit it to the point where. You know people could never have anything, so we were always able to process and. To keep our community supplied meat. We're very proud to say that. At this point as well and that mentioned, there are a lot of tribes across the nation that are looking it standing up meat, processing plants, and there's been an obvious shortage of meat processing plants for many years. It's a very hard business. It's very intensive, but tribes have been hunters and gatherers, and have had cut me and hunted for years, so it's really getting back to basics. similar to the gardening aspects of growing your own vegetables and are, and you know what we've been starting some initiatives for several years here on greenhouses community. Gardens we started farmers market two years ago and this year through some of the some grant assistance to a couple of organising, we were able to even start some training operations on canning and drying foods, so in that really all hit about the time. This pandemic was hitting as well so. Getting people back to basics and and taking control. Their food sources has been an initiative of the Inter Tribal Council indigenous, Food and Agriculture Group in the Native Act Fund. For some time now and it's really become. frontline effort since it's pandemic it. In so Chris I'm wondering as we talk about where supplies come from. Do you know? Where does the majority of the meat that we're seeing in our local grocery stores? Where's it coming from? I, heard Zach mentioned early You Know International. Where's the meat come in from? You Know I. Don't track You know the amount of imports, but you know you have to look at the US win. When the beef plants were closed, the export numbers were still coming in from other countries and I don't WanNa, try to project. You know how much he came from other countries during this pandemic, but it's the numbers too high and we have as I mentioned. There are hundreds of thousands of cattle and you know in inside the United States that need processed and that market we need to be keeping our beef here and processing convenient to our people There's a lot of resources available here that need to be utilized. In Chris Precautions again in the headlines we see outbreaks at meat processing facilities anything you can share on insights into this either prevention, or if it's happened how things got under control? Yeah Prevention is key. We've been very fortunate We have not had any cases insider plan Where also small plants, so smaller numbers make it easier I I believe, and some of these larger plants that have six hundred thousand employees and I'm it's. It's extremely hard once you have a case, get in a community. It starts to spread like wildfire our, so we are fortunately in a rural area that our. Our community did not get hit as hard as some of the others did so. We're very fortunate in that aspect, but we also try. We definitely control who is in around our plant limit access to our plant. We take numerous safety precautions as as recommended by the CDC. and we're really just restricting in the the kind of people on the type of folks that are coming in. We don't allow customers in the building even. Though is strictly employees. Only the Lizard Irs. In so you know, there's talking mention of the second wave, and if indeed the number start kicking back up. What are the lessons learned the first round with this pandemic that you think should be implemented immediately or or anything like that. started off Chris. You know we we. We've seen this throughout various cities across the nation and unfortunately. I think there are some communities that are seeing spikes in the Cova. Cases as we speak as people go back to work, and and are getting back around other folks. It's it's it's a silent issue. People aren't seeing it. It's a lot of cases that we hear about and see. There are no symptoms so it's it's extremely scary to under. To. Think about people walking around the facility that might have this virus in and You'd have be cautious about that. In for you. Zach any thoughts or precautions, or you know things that we learn first round that are going to play and keep things safe. You Bet I. I would just offer it. Anybody listening that health just isn't about disease. Health is about nutrition. And Immunity, and the myriad of factors that go into this, so if we start to take a more thoughtful approach about what we're putting into our bodies and why? We're building a lot more. capacity for robust. Response to. These pandemics in that type of stuff that was of the strength of our indigenous. Diets as we. We were attuned to that. We knew what the plants out in the pasture did for us. And we didn't just go by whatever it was boxed and convenient than the store we. We knew that there was some effort. That went into gathering that up. But we knew the value of its to start thinking about health and a more holistic frame of mind, instead of just as a response to disease. And people were active, too I think you know when we think of the entire system that was going on and how it all fit into it, you know if you're out there in the garden, you know how many calories you're burning and just the care for the food to a lot there anything you want to add go ahead and dial in one, eight, hundred, nine, nine, six, two, eight, four. Eight is a number, maybe your producer. Maybe you're a grower in your own needed community how? How do you feel this is helping and when we say food supply food shortage. Did you experience any of that? In These times thoughts, one, eight, hundred, nine, nine, six, two, eight, four, eight is a number what about tribes, even individuals stepping up and making sure the food supply is coming straight local so that you're not caught without Fuji need any thoughts on any of this one, eight, hundred, nine, nine, nine, six, two, eight, four. Eight is a number also here with us today. Tulsa Oklahoma is carly hot vet. She is the director of tribal enterprise for the Indigenous Food and agriculture, initiative at the University of our concern, she's a Cherokee citizen and it's our pleasure to have her here with us, welcome carly. Kaoh show, thank you for having me. In curly anything you want to start off with just hearing a little bit of of how things are going for both Zach Chris and the communities are connected to. Sure I think I'd like to echo what Chris said you know this covid. Nineteen pandemic hasn't broken any of the systems. It has just revealed what has already been. A challenge in is really kind of. showing a spotlight on some of the issues that we're seeing in ending country when it comes to food supply and the suit, supply chains and with my work that we do the The Indigenous Food and AG initiative at the University of Arkansas. We're really focused on creating some solutions for some of these problems. We're seeing Indian country, not just short term, but also long term solutions and helping tribes really take hold of their food sovereignty as a part of the tribal sovereignty, and we say that we can't truly be sovereign until we can feed our people. and I know Zach this you know has much. supported that statement frequently, and we the work that we do is intended to provide resources to tribes and tribal organizations to help stand up their local and regional food, economies and systems, so we can have those resilient. Opportunities in place to avoid some the fallout that we see when our national food system is so disrupted, I mean you heard that talk about a lot of the food that's produced on reservations or an Indian countries exported, and then food that is consumed at that location. is imported and purchased from external sites, instead of having a more local closed loop system or more regional close loop system because of the challenges of infrastructure and food supply chain that we see tribal communities, so the work that we do would I is intended to. To provide support to really a resilient food sovereignty system in Indian country, and there's a multitude of ways that we do that whether it's you know encouraging trips to develop their own department of Agriculture whether it is supporting them as they worked towards implementing Food and agriculture code specific to their tribal community whether it is creating and developing that pipeline of tribal agricultural experts or professionals that can then return after their education and gaining some experience to their tribes or other tribal communities and help really Put those systems up to where they need to be but we were very excited. This is an exciting time to be involved in tribal agricultural, even before the covid nineteen pandemic, but after the pandemic it it became very explicit about how necessary this work was. We're very excited to be able to provide these resources and extend opportunities to any tribe that seeking assistance. Inc Really. How did if you know If you know, how do we get to the point where you know some of our products especially meat is coming. From another country, and then coming back to us, or you know going out and then coming back. How do we get to this point? Sure so I was actually on a call with nonprofit earlier this week, and the discussion was people were talking about how our food system has failed, and I think that failure really only exists at the beginning and the end of that system from what from your perspective and what kind of dollars they're bringing in and then the supply. That's available for your induce consumer. The people in between as you heard kind of talk about your processors, your packagers warehouses your distributors. Those corporate entities are very much concerned with that bottom line, profit margin and the negotiation and trade that occurs within those larger conglomerates really focuses on how to maximize profit, and if it means you know sacrificing some resiliency in the process in order to get that additional cent per dollar brought in by outsourcing or by You know seeking imported labour opportunities or looking for other ways to really maximize that it pushes that risk out to the ends of that food supply system to the producers into your in users, so we don't see that lack of success being born by your the people in the middle of the chain versus the people who are at the ends of the chain, so I think that's really contributed to that Outsourcing and offshoring, some of these activities in addition to that that bottom line, profit margin component. That is so important. In Sioux Carly when we think about you know. Being a part of the solution is opposed to. Exacerbating the problem. What can tribes do now? Even if it wasn't on their radar now we've learned a lesson. What are the next steps for tribes to make sure that you know that that food supply chain is shorter in that you know. We are not in situations that we have been because of the pandemic. Sure, and that's a great question asking I would really encourage you. To take a look and say you know, what can we do kind of avoid these challenges in the future, and I think probably the biggest thing from thirty thousand foot perspective is encouraging the development of local and regional food systems so that we have those redundancies in place when that quote unquote just in time, national food system becomes disrupted so bottleneck at certain points along the chain and those local and regional food economies can be propped up or supported and a variety of different ways. Ways depending upon what the goals of each individual tribe is in what their particular needs are. We know that one solution is not going to be applicable for every tribe in Indian country, and with over five hundred, seventy, three federally recognized tribes. They're all unique when it comes to their land base when it considered governance structures when it comes to the needs of their citizens, and when it comes to the relationships that they have in areas where they're at an all those are impactful for determining path for about. About what's going to be the best way to address that some tribes may have existing agribusiness enterprises that we'll be seeking to scale up and also bring an additional value. Add component in that so if they're doing production. Maybe they added an additional further step down that supply chain into processing, so they're able to bring additional dollars of that products sale in value back to their operation, and may look like developing a department of tribal agriculture so that they can start working on outreach and. And you know land-management development to maximize production or conservation activities that bring value back to the tribe and I value that doesn't necessarily mean you know dollars or revenue value can mean preservation of natural resources for downstream usage, or for tourism, or for I'm conservation and preservation to have for future iterations it could also mean the adoption of the tribal Food and agriculture. Code to occupy that regulatory space and prevent encroachment from external jurisdictions like Zach was talking about and also give. Credence to tribal oversight and so when products are developed under those tribal codes, they're able to enter markets more easily with branding or a labelling, indicating that it is a product of that tribe or tribal organization. There is just something different about being able to see those tribal names on some of these products in where they're coming from knowing that. You are helping a community when you're buying certain products, it's interesting. Hang tight. There's morehead. If. You're hurting in your relationship and want to talk strong hearts, native helpline, confidential and anonymous domestic violence helpline for native Americans available at one, eight, four, four, seven, six to eighty, four, eighty, three, or connect with alive advocate by using the chat now button at strong hearts helpline dot org advocates offer support and referrals for resources daily seven am to ten PM Central Time this program supported by the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center. We appreciate you tuning into native. America calling today I'm Tara, Gatewood and we are ready to hear from you. You're invited into this conversation. One, eight, hundred, nine, six, two, eight, four, eight is our number. Are you concerned about how food gets to your table? Happy been even more concerned because of the pandemic. Have you run into glitches? Tell us about it now that you're hearing from folks who are supplying different products What do you think about the whole process? Does it need to be redesigned in when you hear tribes jumping into the line of this and saying we're going to be there? We're GONNA. Make sure that there is. Enough produce in and also production of meet. What do you think one, eight, hundred, nine, nine, six, two, eight, four, eight, is number, one, eight, hundred, nine nine natives and other. We can get us, and we look forward to hearing from you going down right now. A thank you to everybody joining us. We have carly hot fit with us with the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative also here to is Chris, Roper. Director of Agriculture for the qual- nation, and also Zach Dushi know who is the executive director for the Intertribal? Agriculture Council our pleasure to have all of them here and Zach not too long ago on this program in time goes fast might be longer than I'm thinking, but we did a program on trying to get more people. Especially, our youth interested in ranching and farming, and there was a big need in. Plead to try and get. Get more young people into this especially with competition of other options for our young people Do you think this is also a time to maybe reopen that discussion? And you know talk about a little bit why we really do need to get more young people into this that next generation stepping up to beatty's producers because we can say, we WANNA do this, but if our people are lining up, what do we do, go ahead Zach? All right, maybe Chris can answer that we get Chris. Go here. Yeah, no problem. Yeah, it's very important to keep the youth involved and to expose all of the issues that are out there and actually take their young minds and build to take the ideas they have and implement the different things that they come up with. We have been very fortunate to be able to work with universities across the nation. we've been able to work with Grad students on various projects in our area is. On different issues from gardening to canning, too of food waste composting lots of initiatives that are out there, and then keeping the young folks involved. We try to implement as many of those ideas as possible. Each year we try to increase our intern. Shit numbers We've been able to obtain some funding from some outside of outside groups to help us fund the internships that we do. we started out with just a couple of year. And now we're, we're. We'll should have around eight. Different interns this year not just to own tribal us, but when you open it up to native youth across the country. We also participate in different Use groups and learning sessions across the nation, trying to provide technical assistance outreach We try to do all we can to share and to bring young people back into agriculture, and we try to help them understand that agriculture is not only planning and harvesting crops out in the field, but you know agriculture businesses you need the you need the lawyers that specialize in agriculture. You need the accountants that specialize in agriculture You know every possible. Trade you can think of can tie back to agriculture, and that's been a misconception that some of these us have had to overcome. And once we show them that they can tie their specific interests back to agriculture and food, sovereignty and food security. Policy all these different things that really really see her eyes light up and and. See, the, passion come out so it's extremely important to. Keep the US involved in. Bring them in, and we need their energy. So that's a that's very important. Indeed in Zach, I think we've got you back anything you want to add. The you know the time is perfect for for the youth to really step up and take the lead and we've been working for the last. Ten years at least with Indigenous Food Nag Initiative on on bringing that next generation of. Young leaders in the food neck system space forward. And armed our assertion is that. If we had the solutions, we wouldn't be trying to the problem, so maybe that solution is in that next generation of thinkers, so we do everything we can to empower them. Give them voice. We have created a position on our board of directors. Voting position on our board of directors for the youth. To select their leader and put them at the table with leaders from all across Indian country to bring these solutions forward. And it's it's. Really GonNa be the the. The changes that were needing in the industry. Think about the fact that. It's a three point five billion dollar a year industry, and that's just the raw commodity production. If you think about the entire food system. Lied, we could be a twenty five billion dollar a year industry, and just a few years which really moves us towards? Sovereignty and being able to take care of our own instead of depending on. Food programs and government contracts, and that type of stuff, so we really see it as a solution for sovereignty nationwide. Maybe you have some comments on that daily now. One, eight, hundred, nine, nine, native, and so I understand that there is an intertribal food summit going on this month, Zach any details you can share with us. About it when it is what it's about. Yes, so that'll happen on Saturday. June twentieth registration is open now, and it is free to virtually attend. We normally have these inter inter tribal food summit's in person, a big conference where local regional nationally renowned indigenous chefs will walk through the preparation as other professionals will walk you through how to harvest touted roll how to cultivate. The indigenous products. This year we're doing virtually we figure there's a there's some opportunity and. Every circumstance you stumble into, so we're looking at re crafting. Our. Curriculum delivery in a way that it's always there for folks. If you have a broadband connection, are access to one at your local library, you can come in and take this indigenous food preparation, lesson or you can. You can engage in this made of Native health through nutrition movement and we're. We're co hosting this with the native American. Food Sovereignty Alliance, and the Indigenous Food Nag initiative and some other partners. And we really hope that we can make this the first of many of these virtual. Summits that were able to host until we can get back to get them together in person, and in bringing people together to really share their stories and share their knowledge. And where do people sign up or or connect? INTERTRIBAL FOOD SUMMIT DOT COM. Okay I'm straightforward. It is so fun when information is easy to find like that entirely alternative, you know. We spent a lot of time at the top of the hour talking about processing meat but we are also talking about agriculture. What what needs to be shared lessons learned things that we need to step up on more even hurdles that we. We need to jump over. Go hit anything new an update us. Carly sure yes, so when we look at tribal agriculture, and especially from a historical context, the overlay of federal Indian policy dating back. You know more than two hundred years has been very impactful, even today for what the status of our current food sovereignty systems look like and I I call it an underdevelopment because there are a ton of great resources available in Indian country, but being able to leverage those and maximize the benefit for tribal populations has been a challenge based on some of the constraints that we've seen so Indian country Kinda has a a much steeper uphill battle when it comes to really working through some. Some of those issues and a lot of that has to do with what Zach was discussing as far as having professionals and knowledgeable people who have the background and understanding of not just how to operate and as a producer with an accident system, but how to do it in Indian country because there are specific nuances that really make. Make a big difference for how we work especially when it comes Charlie management, and how our lands are held and transferred in the ability to access credit for investment in those types of systems, in addition to that there's also different funding operation or funding components that are available whether it's federal sources whether it's administration dollar whether it's tribally. Tribally generated revenues, possibly some gaming operations or other types of funding areas that are set up. That are different from what mainstream agriculture may access so There's a lot of nuance components that are very important to understand in order to kind of level that playing field. That's necessary, and that's what a lot of the work that we do I say. Say I as we actually are hosting Discussion Forum via facebook live on Thursday at one o'clock to talk about how to develop a department of Agriculture and have a conversation about what some of the issues that people are seeing in their local tribal communities, and what we can do, and advice and resources that we can provide help get over. Over the Hump so there are a lot of concerns when it comes to that, but Christmas absolutely right agriculture is not just you know cows and plows anymore. There's a lot more to it and there's a lot of different ways to shore up that food sovereignty through production, and it's not limited to commodity crops. There's a lot of opportunities available. In alternate back to you Chris Anymore that you wanNA share again. wanting to hear more about the egg site go ahead. Well. It's extremely important. I think you know not only ending country, but across the across the nation. You know we all have to get back to our roots. We have to take control of our food supplies. We have to be aware of where food comes from and we. Need to step out and grow something. Ultimately you know we need to. We need to grow some gardens and grow are plants and learn to preserve them again. A lot of our grandparents did that years back, and they initially told us when we were young and growing up. That's how a lot of us were raised. So you know we've gotten away. We've gotten away from that in in our fast paced environment, but we need to get back to our roots. That's one the biggest things that I tell everyone is. We've got to get back to our roots and take control of our systems. In Zach anything to add. I think that it's that. At this time, it's really important that we focus on. How do we get in touch with those local producers? The ones that do have food that they could sell. In our American Indian foods program. We've got a list of. Scores of producers that have participated in the actual overseas export market on the order of fifteen to twenty million dollars per year in exports from Indian country overseas and. Eighty seven percent of those producers are looking for ways to get into the local market. And they're looking for ways to get into ECOMMERCE. So what are what are tribal membership? That's listening can do is. Go to your local grocery store and ask them what you're doing about. Sourcing local tribally grown food. Because, the consumer is ultimately GonNa vote with their pocketbook, and if they ask for it through their grocery store, the grocery store is going to start looking around the community despite things that they could put in there, and that'll help spur demand that will. Lead, a producer say you know. I'M GONNA I'M GONNA. Take my vegetables to the grocery store and sell them here in town. And and maybe add acre. And then really start to do something about. The economic disparities that exist between our Indian country, food and credit desserts and our. Friends and relatives that are just right across that in imaginary lying on the ground. People realize that they have that much pool. Do you really think they do Zach? I I don't think they do and that's why. I'm reminding them to exercise that. If if three hundred the next three hundred people that go to the LAKOTA thrifty Martin South Dakota ask the manager. What are you doing about sourcing local beef? That's going to resonate with the Cheyenne. River, Economic Development Corporation and they're going to say hey, what can we do about this? We didn't realize there was this kind of demand. And then there would be the opportunity for tribal leadership to invest in the infrastructure needed to get it there. It's the same in the in the northwest with the with the fruit and vegetable produce. It's the same and I to where their own potatoes on tribal land, but it's non-indian corporations doing it I I think the consumer really. Ultimately controls what happens in those stores, and if we're looking for their crunchy salty poison, the comes in that cardboard box. And that's what we're willing to spend our money on. That's what they're going to stock the shelves with, but if we you know, we need some healthy vegetables, we need some healthy locally grown protein some meat. That's what's GONNA show up in those stores. Friends at the Rosebud Sioux tribe in their tribal grocery store have set up their store. So that's the first thing you see when you walk in. While, that's taken it to to a whole other level to. Maybe your tribe is doing some of that. Maybe you are the person who got some of that in the places where you shop, you WANNA. Tell us about that. Journey can always reach out to us. Come into need of America calling dot com. Let's take a call. We've got latisha in fallbrook. California on the Pala reservation or listening on. Paula Radio! Thanks Latisha for calling. Go ahead, you're on your. Thank you. Thank you for having me the comment that I want to make is of course as Citizens citizen so I haven't been shopping a lot. Other people have been shopping for me and I've been out for the first time last week and the flower shelves were practically empty, but there was and I was looking for unbleached. And there was little bags of. unbleached flour that came from the Navajo nation. And I just thought that was so interesting. that. We've never seen these before and here now in the time of crises where they can't get gold medal. I guess, or whatever the if is that and this is a major market was Albertson's that that they were reaching out and looking for the product that the consumers are going to need? And in this case it was flour. And I. I know that over the years I've heard that there. Companies that I don't know if they'd give a discount to the store if they will put their product more in a more visible place so that the consumer will buy it. You have to first thing they see so. That's that they pick up. But I think it's I. Think it kind of goes hand in hand with what we're talking about here is that if the consumer knows it's they're. They're they're going to be more apt to at least look at that product. Sure and you know. All of this has definitely opened the doors to new ways of thinking in this example that you are talking about. It'll be interesting. They continue to carry it and then Latisha wondering what will happen if they don't. Keep carrying it again. We get back to that point that's just made about the power of what our consumers are saying in buying very interesting. Thank you to everybody today including collar, and also carly hot vet that. And Chris Roper anything you miss. Find It on our website. 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