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The Native Seed Pod
40 minutes | Feb 3, 2022
Rematriating the Land with Corrina Gould
Host Melissa Nelson sits down on the land for a wide-ranging conversation with Ohlone leader Corrina Gould of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, discussing rematriating Indigenous homelands, the history and strategy of land trusts and Native land taxes, resilience hubs in the Bay Area, and much more. Corrina and Melissa talk about how to grow the network of Himmetka resilience hubs, emerging to respond to emergency and to be good hosts as Indigenous people based in urban areas such as in Lisjan, the traditional Ohlone village site in deep East Oakland, California. Corrina discusses multiple other sites that have returned to Ohlone hands, and dreams for the future of Sogorea Te’ and rematriating the land. This conversation was recorded on August 2, 2021 at Heron Shadow
53 minutes | Nov 30, 2021
Seed Rematriation with Becky Webster
Host Melissa Nelson sits down with Becky Webster, Oneida farmer, seedkeeper and attorney. Their conversation explores the challenges and joys of being a Native farmer, cultivating recently rematriated crops, navigating both market and trade economies, and more. This episode is the third of three episodes focused on Seed Rematriation, and is a co-production of The Cultural Conservancy and Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance’s (NAFSA) Indigenous Seed Keepers Network (ISKN). These episodes are part of a collection of Seed Rematriation media that we have co-produced with NAFSA and Rowen White of ISKN. This conversation was recorded on August 9, 2021.
41 minutes | Oct 8, 2021
Seed Rematriation with Shelley Buffalo
In this episode, Shelley Buffalo talks with host Melissa Nelson about the healing power of ancestral foods, feeding the community with rematriated crops and medicines, and her work with Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative, Red Earth Gardens and Seed Savers Exchange. They also explore the power of art and the beauty of seeds. This is the second of three episodes focused on Seed Rematriation, and is a co-production of The Cultural Conservancy and Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance’s (NAFSA) Indigenous Seed Keepers Network (ISKN). These episodes are part of a collection of Seed Rematriation media that we have co-produced with NAFSA and Rowen White.
35 minutes | Sep 6, 2021
Seed Rematriation with Jessika Greendeer
Host Melissa Nelson talks with Jessika Greendeer of the Ho-Chunk Nation in this first of three episodes focused on Seed Rematriation. Jessika and Melissa discuss this important growing movement, seed keeping and agriculture, and her work as Seed Keeper and Farm Manager at Dream of Wild Health. This episode is a co-production of The Cultural Conservancy and Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance’s (NAFSA) Indigenous Seed Keepers Network, part of a collection of Seed Rematriation media that we have co-produced with NAFSA.
54 minutes | Mar 3, 2020
The Poetry of Sacred Food Culture: Conversations with Simon Ortiz
Host Melissa Nelson sits down with famous Acoma Pueblo writer, poet, and storyteller Simon J. Ortiz to discuss the intricacies of traditional tribal identities, the wonder of our traditional foods, and our role as Indigenous peoples in the future of ‘green’ urban development on our traditional territories. Simon’s gentle ease and wise words amplify simple truths and ground large heady concepts, leaving us open to receive the immensity of his final gift a sharing of his poem, Deer Dinner.
52 minutes | Feb 1, 2020
Hawaiian Cartography and 'Aina Sovereignty
Renee shares her experience of being changed while writing her book Kanaka Hawaiʻi Cartography: Hula, Navigation, and Oratory (2017), which explores Kanaka Hawai’i place-name and spatial knowledge systems. We are met with the breadth of Hawaiian, place-based language and knowledge of ‘Aina – the land-food matrix. Deep in intimate conversation, together we traverse stars and seasons, plants and mountains, and how to embody food sovereignty, self-determination, and nourishing relationships of food and community.
44 minutes | Jan 19, 2020
Kai Ora: Māori stories of life-giving foods across Moana
On a sunny fall afternoon in the shadow of Mount Tamalpias, Seed Pod host Melissa Nelson and producer Sara Moncada sat down with Wikuki and Tania for a cup of tea to talk stories of land and foods across the Pacific. From the masterful Indigenous sciences of land and ocean, food and water (known to Maori peoples as kai wai), to the many foods of Aotearoa we explore the deep knowledge and nourishing relationships held across moana nui.
43 minutes | Jan 11, 2020
Rekindling Native California Ecologies - Part 2
Redbird teaches how Native Californians co-created the landscape using "mild disturbance," fire, seeding, and seasonal harvesting rotations to increase diversity and cultivate an ecosystem so vibrant and abundant that it was able to support huge populations of people and animals previously thought impossible without conventional agriculture.
35 minutes | Jan 4, 2020
Rekindling Native California Ecologies - Part 1
After a full day of harvesting, teachings, and community during The Cultural Conservancy’s annual Harvest Day gathering, Melissa Nelson catches up with knowledge keeper Redbird (Edward Willie) on the beautiful back acres of our partner, Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden in Novato, California.
28 minutes | Dec 28, 2019
Food Is Medicine: Native Health and Cultural Foodscapes - Part 2
37 minutes | Dec 21, 2019
Food Is Medicine: Native Health and Cultural Foodscapes - Part 1
On a winter morning in Reno, Nevada, on the homelands of the Washoe nation, host Melissa Nelson has a conversation with Native chefs and health educators Dr. Lois Ellen Frank (Kiowa) and Walter Whitewater (Navajo). They all converged in this area for a “Food Sovereignty and Native Peoples Health” event at the University of Nevada, Reno, hosted by Dr. Deb Harry (Pyramid Lake Paiute), professor of Gender, Race, and Identity.
46 minutes | Dec 27, 2018
A Feast of Food Stories with Abalone, Salmon and Wild Rice
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.
49 minutes | Nov 10, 2018
Nourishing the Spirit in Native California
Dive deep into agroecology and the Native plant wisdom of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Keeper and medical herbalist Sage LaPena (Noptipom Wintu). This episode is unique in that it is based on a public lecture and hands-on teachings of Sage LaPena earlier this year. 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. 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.
52 minutes | Oct 12, 2018
#CafeOhlone: Language, Food, Community
For this episode we sit down with California Native chefs and educators Vincent Medina (Chochenyo 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.
46 minutes | Sep 13, 2018
Green Corn: Change and Transmission of the Life Sustainers
We feature 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. 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
63 minutes | Aug 10, 2018
Trusting in Abundance: Finding Your Regeneration Niche
In this intimate dialogue, Potawatomi botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer explores 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. Using Indigenous and Western sciences and Anishinaabe language and philosophy, Robin and host Melissa Nelson 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.
31 minutes | Jul 12, 2018
The Seed Sovereignty Sisters
In the quiet corner of an urban hotel after the seed sisters’ panel presentation, “Seed Sovereignty Stories from North American, Latin America and Oceania,” at at the 2018 Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) Annual Conference in Los Angeles, Native Seed Pod host Melissa Nelson and producer Sara Moncada catch up with Kaylena Bray, Mariaelena Huambachano, and Elizabeth Hoover. They discuss how seeds cross cultures and continents, creating networks of physical and spiritual resilience, and are at the forefront of environmental justice, food security and biodiversity.
52 minutes | Jun 14, 2018
The Re-Emergence of the Buffalo
On the New Moon in March, host Melissa Nelson traveled to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada to participate in the 2018 Think Indigenous Education Conference and spoke with Blackfoot Knowledge Holder Dr. Leroy Little Bear about his leadership in the ground-breaking Buffalo Treaty. Leroy was a keynote speaker at the conference, where he spoke about Land as a Source of Identity and Identity as a Sacred Responsibility. The Buffalo Treaty is an historic international treaty, signed by dozens of sovereign First Nations, dedicated to cooperation, renewal, and restoration. It was signed in 2014 and continues to lead to many landmark events and collaborations. Special guest, Tuscorora educator Rose Imai of The Native American Academy also joins this conversation as she connected Melissa and Leroy over a decade ago and has been an advocate of the Buffalo Treaty since its inception. Tune in to listen to Elder Leroy tell the unfolding story and significance of the Buffalo Treaty.
51 minutes | May 14, 2018
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.
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