With Earth Day approaching on April 22, it’s timely to think about what the earth provides for us. A home. Food. Water. It’s easy to take these gifts from Mother Earth for granted. But many Native Americans living on remote and geographically isolated reservations don’t have that luxury. Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) understands that these are vital needs in some Native American communities, and that health and self-sufficiency are equally vital.
To assist self-sufficiency efforts, PWNA works directly with reservation partners to support long-term solutions that address health and hunger, while building up sustainable resources in their communities. In Pine Ridge, S.D., PWNA partnered with the Little Wound Face Program and Lynn Dubray to deliver healthy cooking classes to parents. The parents who were already active in the Face program identified the need to address the health of their community through healthier cooking and eating. PWNA developed a curriculum for the group, which included meal plans, menus and train-the-trainer sessions, and the parents modified the curriculum to take advantage of locally-available foods. The lead project coordinator also completed train-the-trainer sessions to gain and pass along sustainable knowledge to future participants, ensuring this critical step toward self-sufficiency continues to grow and flourish.
In Fort Belknap, MT, PWNA partnered with Red Paint Creek Community Council and Hannah Has Eagle to help build a high-tunnel garden that is contributing to the community’s self-sufficiency and food sovereignty, while supporting a healthier lifestyle through access to fresh produce. Continuing the momentum after their first harvest, the Council organized seed-saving events to promote re-planting this season.
Knowing that there is high interest and sustainable gains through gardening and other healthy community-led opportunities, PWNA is looking forward to partnering with several organizations in 2016 – keep checking back as we announce more!