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Indigenous knowledge in agriculture: American Indian tribes and Māori communities support indigenous agricultural lifeways
conference contributionposted on 2023-04-04, 05:17 authored by loriene roy, Spencer LilleySpencer Lilley, Virginia Luehrsen
Over 500 sovereign indigenous nations reside within the geographic boundaries of the United States. Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, with iwi (tribes), hapū (sub-tribes) and whānau (extended families) being the main kinship based structures. Many of these tribal communities were traditionally organized around a social ecology that included clans or family connections. For example, the six traditional clans of the Anishinabe peoples are grouped under guardian animals (dodaims) and each are responsibility for specific roles within the community—leadership, learning, defense, justice, sustenance, and medicine. Traditional models illustrate the importance of a balanced life in community wellness. This paper presents examples of American Indian and Māori tribal communities’ activities in developing and rediscovering traditional foodways. Specific examples presented include those that are community centered, intertribal initiatives, nutrition and data collection based, and education based. We have selected these cases to not only illustrate these four focuses but also because we have visited the sites or have personal connections with them and can verify their efforts and the respect with which their efforts are recognized within Indian country and/or in indigenous communities.