The Native Seed Revolution

Speaker: Rowen White | Air Date: May 15, 2018 | The Native Seed Pod Series

Speaker: Rowen White | Air Date: May 15, 2018 | The Native Seed Pod Series

The Native Seed Revolution

Host Melissa Nelson visits with Mohawk Seed Keeper Rowen White at her family’s Sierra Seeds farm in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the Yuba watershed in Northern California. Rowen shares her journey to grow and restore ancestral seeds and  build a special seed kiva. In this session Rowen takes us through her unique holistic, indigenous permaculture approach to seed stewardship which honors the many layers of seed culture that are rooted in an indigenous ecology of interconnected relations. Learn about the beautiful seed legacy of the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island and the work being done today for seed sovereignty and sacred earth stewardship.



Rowen White is a Seed Keeper from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for seed sovereignty. She is the director and founder of Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed cooperative focusing on local seed production and education, based in Nevada City, California. She teaches creative seed training immersions around the country within tribal and small farming communities. As part of this effort she is the national project coordinator of the Indigenous SeedKeepers Network which works to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island (North America).  She is also the co-author of Breeding Organic Vegetables: A Step by Step Guide for Growers.



Seed Songs blog
Indigenous Seedkeepers Network
A New Chapter for Food Sovereignty, Indian Country Today, May 2017
Rowen White: The Seed Path, Toasted Sister Podcast, March 2017
Documentary film project  Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds


Works about Rowen White:

Documentary ‘SEED: The Untold Story’ Tells of Indigenous Guardians of Seed Diversity, Indian Country Today, by Kristin Butler, April 18, 201



Host/Writer/Co-producer: Melissa K. Nelson
Producer: Sara Moncada
Co-producer: Mateo Hinojosa
Audio Editor and Engineer: Colin Farish
Audio Assistants: Luke Reppe, Maya Harjo

Songs (in order of appearance):

Opening theme song: “Life” by Colin Farish featuring Airto Moreira on seed pods and Glen Velez on Irish Bodran frame drum

Eagle Dance song, sung by Eddie Madril

Kanyon’s Chumash Grandmother Song - Kanyon Sayers-Roods

Mohawk seed song - Rowen White

Original song in Tongva language - L Frank Manriquez

Ohlone group with Kanyon Sayers-Roods