Gathering around a table to share a meal is a celebration of locally grown foods, the effort and skill required to feed our community, and the importance of passing these skills down to the next generation. Our food sovereignty youth programs teach young people about growing, preparing and preserving traditional foods using both traditional and modern methods.
Food Sovereignty Chair Shelly Fyant talks about our youth food sovereignty programs.
Community dinners bring people together to learn about traditional foods and how to prepare them. The dinners follow the Salish calendar to serve foods that are in season at different times of the year. The meal is shared by multiple generations to encourage intergenerational conversations and preservation of traditional stories and knowledge.
Food is Medicine
Food is Sacred
A "Food is Medicine, Food is Sacred" food sovereignty program was presented to two Arlee High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) classes in May 2022. Youth were introduced to food security, food deserts, and food sovereignty concepts. They watched "Gather," the documentary about the growing movement among Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty. Students brainstormed what a Youth Food Sovereignty Initiative would look like in our small community and the Arlee CDC youth programming is being developed from their ideas.
Youth and Gardening
This program teaches gardening and leadership skills. The participants learn about soil and plant life, and also learn to develop their leadership abilities through homework assignments. The students gain practical skills to grow healthy food, and develop an understanding of the characteristics needed to be an effective community leader.