Pokagon Food Sovereignty Initiative Brings Native Food Truck to Town

Published May 17, 2018

DOWAGIAC, MICHIGAN — This month, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is bringing a mobile native farmers market to the area. On Tuesday, May 22, from 5:30 – 8 p.m. at the Pokagon Community Center, located at 27043 Potawatomi Trail in Dowagiac, Dan Cornelius from the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) and members of the Pokagon Band’s food sovereignty committee will host an evening of indigenous food with a wide variety of native foods on display and available for purchase.

This community event includes a tasting of heirloom and indigenous foods at 6 p.m., followed by a presentation on food sovereignty. Cornelius and the IAC aid Indian tribes and native farmers, ranchers and food producers. They operate the mobile farmers market to expand producers’ market access and increase availability of fresh, healthy, and traditional foods to tribal communities.

“Before contact with Europeans, the Potawatomi in Michiana cultivated wild rice, tapped sugar maple trees, harvested berries, and grew vegetables,” said Gary Morseau, Chair of the Pokagon Band food sovereignty committee. “Many of those traditions and food varieties were lost over the next centuries, but now the Pokagon Band is starting to reclaim its food sovereignty. Efforts include prepping its agricultural land for organic farming, promoting indigenous foods at tribal events and reviving maple sugar and wild rice production on Pokagon land.”

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