native seeds

A Feast of Food Stories with Abalone, Salmon and Wild Rice

Speakers: Jacquelyn Ross, Marlowe Sam, Jeannette Armstrong, and Winona LaDuke | Air Date: December 27, 2018 | Run Time: 46mins | S1 E8 The Native Seed Pod Series

Speakers: Jacquelyn Ross, Marlowe Sam, Jeannette Armstrong, and Winona LaDuke | Air Date: December 27, 2018 | Run Time: 46mins | S1 E8 The Native Seed Pod Series

A Feast of Food Stories with Abalone, Salmon and Wild Rice

Photo by Melissa K. Nelson

For this final episode of season one of the Native Seed Pod we featured the voices of four strong Native American food sovereignty leaders talking about critical food relatives: Jacquelyn Ross (Coast Miwok/Jenner Pomo) on Abalone, Marlowe Sam (Wenatchee) and Jeannette Armstrong (Okanagan) on Salmon and Moose, and Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) on Wild Rice. We are fortunate to work with these folks through many Indigenous networks and interviewed them about their traditional foods 15 years ago as part of an extensive project with Slow Food USA and others to record “Traditional Foodways of Native America,” documenting oral histories of Native food revitalization http://www.nativeland.org/oral-histories-native-food 

For this episode, we also brought in other special guests to talk about this project and these recordings—long-time TCC ally worker, Nicola Wagenberg, who was deeply involved with these oral histories 15 years ago, and local cultural artist and collaborator, Eddie Madril (Yaqui). Together with podcast co-producer Sara Moncada, the four of us have a conversation about the food stories shared in the four pre-recorded interviews. We explore the state of Native foods, including their traditional uses, changes over time, and the challenges to protect and access them today.

We hope you enjoy this multi-vocal conversation about the importance of Indigenous foods and foodways, from intertidal coastal gathering to moose hunting to wild rice gathering. This intertribal conversation demonstrates the diversity of Indigenous foodways and their critical cultural and nutritional significance to Native peoples, historically and for today.

Featuring pre-recorded interviews used with full permission.

Our Guests

Jacquelyn Ross

Jacquelyn Ross

 Jacquelyn Ross is Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok. She comes from a long line of fisherpeople, hunters, plant helpers, and farmers. Tending Native plants, seed gathering, and communal food processing are annual activities. She is urgently concerned with ocean changes and the declining health and habitat of key food species. She works in university outreach and admissions and is also a writer, artist, and jewelry maker.

Marlowe Sam and Jeannette Armstrong

Marlowe Sam and Jeannette Armstrong

Marlowe Sam is descended from the Salish-speaking Wenatchi people from Eastern Washington State, Sam now resides in Penticton, BC, Canada but remains a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes of Washington. He is one of two indigenous students to earn a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus, where he now teaches Indigenous Studies. Marlowe has been a tireless Indigenous rights activist for decades working nationally and internationally. For more information:

Jeannette Armstrong is one of the founders of the En’owkin Centre in Penticton, BC, Canada, the institute of higher learning for the Syilx Okanagan people dedicated to the recovery of Syilx language and protection of Syilx cultural identity. She currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy at University of British Columbia Okanagan and writes and speaks widely. Jeannette is a Language Keeper and an award-winning writer (fiction, poetry) and cultural activist. For more information:

Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke is an internationally renowned activist working on issues of sustainable development, renewable energy, and food systems. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, and is a two-time vice-presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party. Winona is an environmentalist, political activist, writer, and speaker. She is the founder of Honor the Earth and the White Earth Land Recovery Project and its  Native Harvest. For more information:

 

Other Special Guests

Eddie Madril (Pascua Yaqui) teaches American Indian studies at San Francisco State University, College of Marin, and is the Artistic Director for Sewam American Indian Dance. He is currently the Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of World Arts West, producers of the acclaimed San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and previously served for 17 years on the Board of Directors for The Friendship House of American Indians, Inc. in San Francisco. He has worked nationally and internationally in Native American Arts and Education, has served on the advisory committee for Native programming at the de Young Museum of San Francisco, is a monthly host for KPFA Radio’s Bay Native Circle program and author of the new book The Dance of Caring.

Nícola Wagenberg is a clinical and cultural psychologist, artist, film producer and educator. Nícola has worked for over 20 years with diverse individuals, communities and organizations on personal and cultural transformation. Since 2005, Nícola has been working with TCC directing media projects, developing and implementing arts and cultural health programs and helping with the operations and development of the organization. She is the co-producer of “Traditional Foodways of Native America,” “The Salt Song Trail Living Documentary,” co-directed TCC’s Friendship House Urban Garden Project and is the director of the Native Youth Guardians of the Waters project.

Laurita Baldez was TCC's first Native Foodways Coordinator between 2002 and 2006. She was instrumental in helping with these Native food oral history recordings. We asked her to reflect on this work years later, now that she is a nurse practitioner and still a major advocate for Native health and wellness:

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“We recorded these stories about 15 years ago. It’s hard to believe how much has happened since that time. Most significant perhaps is that I went back to school to become a nurse, and later, a nurse practitioner. As happy as I am with the path I choose, I’ve always felt that something was missing. The question I continue to ask myself is this: What does it take to restore someone back to health, in every sense of the word? My education has provided me with some answers, but my understanding remains incomplete. When listening to these recordings again, however, I begin think to myself, ‘Perhaps what I’m looking for has been with me all along. Perhaps it is encoded in these stories that we recorded all those years ago.’ ”

And a special thanks to the original project that led to these historic recordings, the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) project of Slow Food USA. Special thanks to Gary Paul Nabhan, Makale Faber, Laurita Baldez, and all the funders and sponsors of the gatherings we attended and recorded at as part of this work to highlight Traditional Foodways of Native America.

CREDITS

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

Songs (in order of appearance):

Opening theme song (excerpt): “Life” by Colin Farish featuring Airto Moreira on seed pods and Glen Velez on Irish Bodran frame drum
“Interlude” by Colin Farish and Enrique Salmon
“Chasing Dreams” by Marcos Size
“Shadowland” by Colin Farish featuring SoVoSo
“Song for Justice” by Woableza LaBatte

Nourishing the Spirit in Native California

Speaker: Sage LaPena | Air Date: November 9, 2018 | Run Time: 52mins | S1 E7 The Native Seed Pod Series

Speaker: Sage LaPena | Air Date: November 9, 2018 | Run Time: 52mins | S1 E7 The Native Seed Pod Series

Nourishing the Spirit in Native California

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Dive deep into agroecology and the Native plant wisdom of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Keeper and medical herbalist Sage LaPena (Nomtipom Wintu) in this autumn new moon episode. This episode is unique in that it is based on the public lecture and hands-on teachings of Sage LaPena earlier this year during The Cultural Conservancy’s (TCC) Spring Planting Gathering at TCC’s Ethnobotany garden at the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden at the College of Marin in Novato, California.

We learn about the sacred Oak and Peppernut trees of the North Coast landscape along with many of the cultural foods, medicines and craft plants native to the woodlands, grasslands, and riparian ecosystems of Coast Miwok territory.  Sage eloquently shares ethnobotanical knowledge about trees, shrubs, grasses, and underground rooted plant parts such as mahogany, manzanita, elderberry, soap root, and Calechortus, among others. Sage reveals the life cycles and unique characteristics of these beautiful Native plant relatives, along with the high-TEK tools used to gather with, such as digging sticks and baskets.  Additionally, we learn about traditional fire management and cultural burning and California Indian tribes historical and contemporary use of fire as a land-care practice.  

Ben Shleffer—who teaches about soaproot and manzanita in this episode—weaving tule with his son.

Ben Shleffer—who teaches about soaproot and manzanita in this episode—weaving tule with his son.

 Sage’s teachings demonstrate the power of applied Indigenous environmental education, the importance of Native peoples as agroecologists and biocultural restorationists, and the spiritual ecology of relationships between human, plant, and planetary health. 

Additional Resources 

CREDITS

Host/Writer/Director: Melissa K. Nelson
Producer: Sara Moncada
Co-producer and photographer: Mateo Hinojosa
Audio Editor and Engineer: Colin Farish
Assistants: Yvonne Martinez
Additional photography: Loren Risley

Songs (in order of appearance):

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

#CafeOhlone: Language, Food, Community

Speaker: Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino | Air Date: October 12, 2018 | Run Time: 52mins | S1 E6 The Native Seed Pod Series

Speaker: Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino | Air Date: October 12, 2018 | Run Time: 52mins | S1 E6 The Native Seed Pod Series

#CafeOhlone: Language, Food, Community

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For this episode we sit down with California Native chefs and educators Vincent Medina (Muwekma Ohlone) and Louis Trevino (Rumsen Ohlone), to talk about their journey revitalizing Ohlone languages and foods in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area community and across the globe. Tucked into the quiet corner of a busy Berkeley bookstore we joined Vince and Louis at the site of their new “permanent pop-up” restaurant, Café Ohlone.

This unique Native California Indian food gathering place is the first of its kind as it focuses on the traditional Ohlone foods of the East Bay and creates a safe space for community to gather and share food and stories. From the delicious menu featuring seasonal foods like acorn bread and quail eggs to their recent work sharing these foods at the Terra Madre Salone del Gusto gathering in Turin, Italy, they talk about reconnecting with the values, respect and love their ancestors shared with the land, plants and foods of their traditional homelands.

Additional Resources

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  • Café Ohlone 
    2430 Bancroft Way, xučyun (Berkeley, California)
    Open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays

  • CafeOhlone.com

  • Twitter: @makamham

  • Instagram: makamham

  • Hashtag: #cafeohlone

CREDITS

Host/Writer/Director: Melissa K. Nelson
Producer: Sara Moncada
Co-producer: Mateo Hinojosa
Audio Editor and Engineer: Colin Farish
Assistants: Yvonne Martinez

Songs (in order of appearance):

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

Green Corn: Change and Transmission of the Life Sustainers

Speaker: Dave and Wendy Bray | Air Date: September 12, 2018 | Run Time: 46mins | S1 E5 The Native Seed Pod Series

Speaker: Dave and Wendy Bray | Air Date: September 12, 2018 | Run Time: 46mins | S1 E5 The Native Seed Pod Series

Green Corn: Change and Transmission of the Life Sustainers

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This podcast episode features husband-wife team and Traditional Knowledge Holders Dave and Wendy Bray from the Seneca Nation in Western New York.  Dave Bray is a traditional corn farmer and teacher and Wendy Bray a professional educator, cook, and keeper of Oneo-gen, Seneca white corn.  Together, and with their daughter, Kaylena Bray (who worked with The Cultural Conservancy for 5 years as the Native Foodways coordinator), they brought the gift of Oneo-gen to us in 2013. In this conversation, Dave and Wendy return to the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden in Novato, California, where TCC has been growing their beautiful corn for six seasons.  After many years, they return to TCC’s corn fields, observe the changes and health of the corn, and teach Green Corn harvesting and cooking methods. 

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Standing in the Three Sisters Milpa Garden on a hot August day, they talk about the process of sharing their heirloom Native white corn with The Cultural Conservancy and the urban, intertribal community of Northern California, and share teachings about the many associated traditions of the Haudenosaunee Nation. The history and science of corn, green corn traditional dishes and cooking methods, the Longhouse seasonal ceremonial cycle, and the gift of the Life Sustainers are all discussed with wisdom, humility, and humor.


ABOUT Dave and Wendy

Short films by TCC featuring the Brays:


ADDITIONAL WORKS

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CREDITS

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

Songs (in order of appearance):

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

Enrique Salmon flute, arrangement by Colin Farish

Ella Rose piano & vocal, excerpt entitled “Native Insight” by Ella Rose

Eagle Dance song, sung by Eddie Madril featuring Glen Velez (shakers), arrangement by Colin Farish

Closing song (excerpt): “Waking from the Roots” by Colin Farish featuring John Carlos Perea (flutes) from Coyote Jump (Canyon Records 2012)

           

Trusting in Abundance: Finding Your Regeneration Niche

Speaker: Robin Kimmerer | Air Date: August 11, 2018 | Run Time: 64mins | The Native Seed Pod Series

Speaker: Robin Kimmerer | Air Date: August 11, 2018 | Run Time: 64mins | The Native Seed Pod Series

TRUSTING in abundance: Finding your Regeneration Niche

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In this intimate dialogue between Native Seed Pod host Melissa Nelson and special guest Potawatomi botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer, we explore with them the beauty and sophistication of seed germination and how plants use their inherent intelligence to locate their regeneration niches to thrive in place.  Robin shares her vast botanical knowledge and insight to discuss the generosity of berries, ant farmers that embed trillium seeds, and amazing pin cherry seeds that have built-in spectrophotometers to read light.

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Using Indigenous and Western sciences and Anishinaabe language and philosophy, Robin and Melissa explore topics such as reciprocity, the sovereignty of being, the Rights of Nature, bio-cultural restoration, and collective remembering. They reveal a poetic and rooted understanding of belonging and kinship so needed in our fragmented society today, reflecting their own kinship as Anishinaabeg relatives.


ABOUT ROBIN

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Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, writer and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She is also founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance. She is active in efforts to introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge. Robin is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Her writings include Gathering Moss which was awarded the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005. Her second book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants was honored with the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. Robin earned her B.S. in Botany from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and her M.S. and Ph.D in Botany from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the author of numerous scientific papers on the ecology of mosses and restoration ecology. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.


ADDITIONAL WORKS BY ROBIN WALL KIMMERER:

CREDITS

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

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