Donald Moore (Yurok/Hupa) has a strong history with the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC), beginning as an intern in 2019 to coordinate the Pacific Region Tribal Youth Summit. Donald is a Colorado at Fort Lewis College student, so coming home for the summer to work with Tribal youth to execute many hands-on cultural foods projects, demonstrations, and leadership development activities was a wonderful fit.
When IAC connects with young leaders who take full advantage of the opportunities presented, future possibilities are endless. Through a multi-year agreement with the California region of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a second expanded internship program was made available to him. As in 2019, the 2022 internship program offers the opportunity for Tribal students and individuals to gain direct experience with NRCS by being seated at a local field office and working with an active Tribal agriculture/natural resources project.
This year, Donald was approached by IAC Youth Programs Director, Elaini Vargas, with an opportunity to assist IAC Technical Assistance Specialist for the Pacific Region (CA). He will assist with planning and scoping projects to inform the development of a regional food sovereignty conference, the first of its kind in the state, planned for late 2023. Donald was humbled by the opportunity and quite excited because it also meets an academic requirement for service-based learning. IAC’s internship programming requires students to conduct research and write a summary paper that aligns with common criteria for gaining academic credit.
The summer 2022 internship program enabled Donald to hone presentation and interview skills by conducting outreach to support ongoing Tribal natural resources initiatives and by holding listening sessions as part of the early conference planning process. To enhance Donald’s experience, IAC leveraged more field-based work, initiating direct coordination with the NRCS-CA Tribal Liaison team to support IAC’s ongoing Tribal outreach and technical assistance partnerships. Donald also participated in the University of Arkansas Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative’s Native Youth Food Sovereignty Conference, where he provided a captivating presentation.
IAC invests long-term in the next generation of Native producers and agricultural professionals. Donald Moore’s story with IAC exemplifies our commitment to leveraging resources that directly support the future of Indian agriculture.