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Preserving our past to
Transcript of Preserving our past to
A Case Study of Indigenous Sustainability Renewal through Agriculture
NATV 351 & 352
History of how tribes used Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in subsistence farming
-effects of colonization
Tribal preservation of TEK and reinstillment with modern sustainability technologies
Tesuque Farms Agricultural Initiative case-study
Contribution to Overall Movement
Continuation of Project
by Dr. Gregory Cajete
Agriculture as practiced ecological consciousness between humans, plants, animals, and natural elements
:"All Indigenous tribes-their philosophies, cultural ways of life, customs, language, all aspects of their cultural being in one way or another-are ultimately tied to the relationships that they have established and applied during their history with regard to certain places and the earth as a whole" (4).
: "Stories of the coming of corn and its intimate relationship with people are numerous among the many Native groups who have cultivated it. Corn is after all a human mediated plant which means that it depends on humans for its cultivation and survival. The interdependence of humans and corn is a prime example of biological synergism" (130).
and health: At the time when Columbus discovered America, the Indians were using two-thousand different foods derived from plants. Much of the community vitality was a direct result of their diverse and nutritious diets" (82).
: dry-land farming, soil-preparation, fertilization, crop rotation, irrigation, seed-gathering, game management, plant guilds (128)
Pueblo TEK and Sustainability Intiatives
(1983)- dedicated to conserving the rich agro-biodiversity of the arid Southwest because of its genetic and cultural importance. What began as a humble operation with seeds stored in chest freezers has grown to a state-of-the art conservation facility, a host of innovative programs and educational initiatives, and an organization recognized as a leader in the heirloom seed movement.
The Santo Domingo Traditional Food Systems Revitalization Project
(2013)- is a mentoring program that pairs tribal youth with tribal elders to eliminate food insecurity among the senior population. Together youth and elders will plant and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables that will later be distributed to tribal elders and be sold at a farmer’s market.
Zuni Sustainable Agricultural Project & Zuni Irrigation Association
-Revitalize sustainable Zuni farming based on traditional values, knowledge, and technology
The Nambe Pueblo Community Farm Project
is a sustainable food model that includes three stages: 1.) constructing and managing a new hoop house; 2.) creating a senior distribution center to improve the overall health and well-being of tribal elders; and finally, 3.) creating a food database system to track the collection and distribution of crops
Red Willow Farm
grows food with sustainable and traditional agricultural practices. Located on the fertile grounds of Taos Pueblo and use organic seed and soil amendments to grow nutritious food in greenhouses and irrigated field. Red Willow Farm Provides Taos pueblo youth and all volunteers valuable agricultural experience.
Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute-
non-profit organization working with the concepts of permaculture. The Institute was created in 1987 at Santa Clara Pueblo. Teaches classes on different techniques and methods of healthy life-styles.
Tesuque Farms Agricultural Initiative:
"The goal of Tesuque Farms is to help the community become more sustainable, preserve traditional seeds, and foods, and maintain a healthier lifestyle"
Sacred ecological interactions with the land and our traditions to re-teach us how to function collaboratively and sustainably
Revitalization of traditional knowledge
Reclaiming cultural-based sovereignty
Effective use of natural resources
Reinvestment in community health
Tesuque Farms Agricultural Initiative:
The Pueblo of Tesuque is located north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, next to the Rio Tesuque.
The Tewa people (pueblo dwelling) have been farming this valley for over 900 years. As with
many Native farming communities there has been a decline in farming around the end of World War II. In 1980, the Tesuque Tribal Council decided that agriculture needed to be restored.
Planning began 2004
Director: Plant geneticist, Quechua Native of Bolivia, Emigdio Ballon
Governor Frederick Vigil
Grants and tribal funding
2007, 15 acres developed
Now: 40 acres developed + multiple projects
Employing 4 full-time workers, 2-part time workers, numerous volunteers
"Seeds are a source of life. Seeds contain millions of years of biological and cultural evolution, and they are the future. Seed freedom is the basis of food freedom because seeds are the first link of the food chain. Seed freedom is threatened by genetically engineered seeds. These seeds contaminate our farms and threaten the freedom of farmers"
Herbal Medicine Garden
Organic Crops and Orchard
Annual Traditional Agriculture and Sustainable Living Conference
features international and regional experts in the areas of food security and sustainable ecology, along with panel discussions and workshops on food and nutrition, contemporary youth issues, heritage seed saving, traditional farming, land restoration, traditional medicine and medicinal herbs. There will also be a heritage seed exchange and a vendors’ market featuring earth-friendly products, information and services.
• natural organic farming practices
• seed saving
• education in traditional foods and medicines,
• developing markets for surplus crops,
• value added production, and
• helping communities maintain or return to their traditional cultural lifestyles.
Contribution to Overall Indigenous Sustainability Movement
Seed-saving in the southwest
Successful model for tribal communitites
Continuation of Project
Continued summer involvement in hosting workshops
Co-organizing of annual symposium
Santa Clara Pueblo
Community Education Curriculum
750 fruit trees
Pueblo Agriculture Policy
Precolonization-Pueblo tribes were primarily hunter-gatherers until communities grew in population
As a result of Spanish land grants (Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo 1848) and American settlers, mobility among the landscape within our territory was significantly diminished.
Dawes Act 1887-Land Allottment
1890-1920- US technical advice, irrigation construction projects, mechanical innovations, new legal status (Sandoval vs. United States), water rights
World War I-caused increase production
1930s-40s--Pueblo communities were self-sufficient in production of corn, beans and squash.
After World War II-some of that sustainability began to diminish significantly.
Challenges: Depleted soils and aquifers, tribal community policy infrastructure, little to no agriculture-based economy
-emergence of food sovereignty movement
Herba de Negrita
Case Study Methodology
1) Literature Review
Critical Indigenous Pedagogy
Community-Based Participatory Action Research
Emigidio Ballon- TFAI Executive Director
Eberth Reynolds- TFAI worker
Randy Moquino- TFAI worker
Gailey Morgan- TFAI worker
Clayton Brascoupe-Director of Traditional NA Farmers Assoc. and former tribal council member of Tesuque
Louie Hena-Former Lt. Gov. of Tesuque
-Began Feb every other Sat 8am-5pm
-Spring break 8am-5pm
4) Community Respect
-Letter of permission
-Final reflection and evaluation
-Copy of study returned for review
Recognition of tribal sovereignty, working with community members as local experts, ensuring research is beneficial to the community, enhanced community research capacity, and community input regarding analysis and results interpretation.
How is TEK via agriculture being reimplemented into present Pueblo community contexts to ensure community sustainability?
passive solar energy
Collect, process, and store
Soil prep Natural pest control
1,100 sq. ft
You pick gardens:
Fruit and vegetables
Future greenhouse construction:
Walipini "place of warmth"
La Paz, Bolivia
Passive solar building design