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To provide a unified effort to promote change in Indian Agriculture for the benefit of Indian People.
The Intertribal Agriculture Council conducts a wide range of programs designed to further the goal of improving Indian Agriculture. The IAC promotes the Indian use of Indian resources and contracts with federal agencies to maximize resources for tribal members.
Commemorating National Ag DayMarch 20, 2018
By Zach Ducheneaux
Since our creation in 1987, the IAC has worked to ensure that those who were doing sustainable agriculture production on this continent first; our forefathers; are not left out when it comes time for the United States to set its Ag Policy for the next few years. That time is upon us again; and our dedicated staff continue to advocate for improvement for our communities in the Farm Bill discussions at all levels of government. Wherever we go in the field, many folks we encounter, even those actually in ag production, ask the question, “What does the Farm Bill do for my community?”
What we have to work on is this: You don’t see very many traditional products or medicinal plants being used by our people in our Reservation stores, schools, and pharmacies; we can change this through the Farm Bill. This has been a large part of our focus for the last 30 years at the IAC. Executive Director, Ross Racine is very fond of saying “You can’t truly be sovereign if you don’t have the capacity to feed your people–we never lost the wars of the 1800’s; we were starved into compliance.” The tools in the Farm Bill, once we tailor them to our needs, enhance our ability to help us rebuild our food systems. Once we accomplish this, instead of trucks coming onto the reservation and money being sent off the reservation; we’ll be sending truckloads of Indian beef or bison meat off the reservation, and the money we need for other things will be coming back on.
We in Indian Country understand, as our forefathers did, Agriculture isn’t about a week; and while it’s great to have some national emphasis on it, it’s more critical to us – it’s about a way of life that seeks to provide food, not food products; that sustains and regenerates our lands, as opposed to depleting it.
We welcome your help, assistance, and advice as we continue to work towards these goals. Visit the Farm Bill page on our website for more information: www.IndianAgLink.com/FarmBill
To read Indian Ag Youth perspectives on the Farm Bill, visit the youth page at: www.IndianAgLink.com