Growing food for healthy communities in Indian Country
Kelsey Ducheneaux is natural resources director with the Intertribal Agriculture Council in Eagle Butte, SD–and she’s a fourth generation regenerative beef cattle rancher. We talk about the strengths and traditions of native food producers, the many challenges of producing food in the current financial system, and the ways that agriculture can heal land and people.
0’54 regenerative agriculture and land stewardship as part of Lakota tradition
3’17 cultivating and eating indigenous foods from the local ecosystem
5’41 relationship between grazing and land health
7’36 differences and similarities between bison and cows in their effect on the land
8’05 current bison are descended from the wildest bison because the tamer ones were all killed
9’27 cattle don’t tend to graze in a herd as much as bison…the importance of reinstating herd instinct in cattle
12’37 getting cattle used to being around people and moving in groups without stress
13’12 on her ranch they don’t take heifer calves away from their mothers
16’12 the problem of extractive financial models in Indian country
16’39 exploitation of previous generations with high interest rates
17’41 the continual need to sell every animal to pay bank debts, even if it’s not best for the ranch
19’38 food produced on Indian land isn’t staying there
22’03 ongoing debt inhibits investment in infrastructure
22’32 what better lending practices would look like
27’45 capitalism is a tool, but it tends toward unlimited growth, how does that work on with the limitations of land
28’39 the “feeding the world” lie
30’24 producers are not working at full capacity, so growth is possible
32’30 disconnect between banking and living systems
38’22 youth wanting to go into agriculture
42’30 addressing historical trauma with agriculture
45’09 healing of land and healing of people very similar
49’16 seeing ourselves as part of a cycle rather than the manager of an input-output system
51’00 breaking cycles of pesticides and other inputs
52’12 the annual conference
52’57 connecting tribal sovereignty with food sovereignty
55’04 women in ranching in Lakota country
Hopi farmers must be doing something right: they have survived and grown their own food for hundreds of generations. We talk to Dr. Michael Kotutwa Johnson about their regenerative farming and cultural practices––and the challenges to maintaining them.
Betsy Gaines Quammen has been researching the history of Mormonism and its relationship to Western landscapes for years. We talk about her new book, American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God and Public Lands in the West.
Water expert Brian Richter walks us through the history of these great man-made lakes, and how we can ensure that they will continue to provide water through man-made crises like climate change.