Elena Terry – member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Executive Chef and Founder of Wild Bearies – a community outreach non-profit also serves as the Food and Culinary Coordinator for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance (NAFSA). As if she did not have enough to do, Terry is active with the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) American Indian Foods
(AIF) program, promoting growing efforts and Native agricultural pursuits.
Right now, her service to the story of all things Food Sovereignty continues as she and Rosebud Bear Schneider have teamed up to travel around the country to celebrate Native producers in-person. The duo’s first collaboration was last year while raising Indigenous Food Sovereignty awareness as WildBearies was a Homegrown Vendor at Farm Aid. Rosebud is the market manager and farmer at Ziibimijwang Farm in Northern Michigan. She has been with them for a little over a year and has also been connected with the IAC-AIF program.
We are encouraging IAC members to connect with their oh so big smiles as they take videos on their journeys and post them on the IAC-AIF Facebook page.
“This is a tour honoring Native farmers,” Terry said. “I thought it was only appropriate to put a face to the products they grow. There is a lot of hard work that goes into production and growing.”
Their next stop is Spring Alaska at Sakari Farms. “Talk about resilience and having to overcome environmental struggles,” Terry pointed out about Alaska’s efforts. “One of the things we wanted to do with this tour is reach Spring and help her replenish her ancestral seed bank. She had suffered two hailstorms that nearly wiped her out. So, we are traveling with the three sisters, corn, beans, and squash who have several other seeds making the journey with them for her. That has been the underlying reason for this trip. To ensure the beautiful seeds’ journey to a new home is a good one.”
“Now is a perfect time for connections to be made to Indigenous foods, Terry added. “One thing we do universally is eat. We have a chance to change the narrative and take control of how we choose to do that together. We ARE reigniting the trade routes. Ultimately what we would like to see is the responsible expansion of Native production. We’re trying to show we can work collectively while supporting each other economically. We can do this!”
“If we can impact the USDA even further, maybe we can get Native production into food distribution on a larger scale. What we can do right now is help next year’s crops grow better and expand on getting our products out there to people.”
We know many of you are following what Elena and Rosebud Bear Schneider are doing already. For those who are not yet connected, please check them out at:
Wildbearies – Elena
Ziibimijwang Farm – Rosebud:
Watch their videos on the IAC-AIF Facebook page and website at: