These Extraordinary Times: Indigenous Peoples and coalition building for agroecology and food sovereignty
Above: Members of a Euro-American motorcycle club work alongside citizens of the Athabascan Nation to launch a fish wheel in the Copper River, Alaska.
This post is based on what Indigenous Peoples (IPs) have shared with me and urged me to build on in the nearly 30 years of work I’ve been honored to do with them, mostly in their communities and in the policy-making arenas of dominant societies.* During that time I’ve seen that, at the heart of IPs’ actions to assert their inherent right of self-determination and their food sovereignty, is the relationship that IPs have with their lands and territories. This relationship includes the millennial interdependence between IPs’ cultures and the biodiversity within their territories.
I’ve also seen and been part of IPs’ efforts to broaden and deepen relationships among themselves and with non-Indigenous allies, especially as trade liberalization, imposed development and other stressors increasingly threaten IPs’ agroecological foodways.
The various ecological and political crises now in effect are rooted in an economic system that relies on the rupture of relationships, including within human communities and between humans and the natural world that we’re a part of. A component of that economic system is industrial agriculture.
In this post I aim to elaborate my belief that, to build or spread food sovereignty, there is an increased need for diverse Peoples, communities and social movements to strengthen relationships and coalitions with one another. Our exchange of knowledges, strategies and practices will keep producing tangible results, and on the less tangible but equally important side, our solidarity will reinforce our resilience in the face of increasing unpredictability.
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