Food Sovereignty

CIAS and our faculty associates partner with Native Nations and their organizations to strengthen Indigenous food sovereignty. Organizations include the UW Law School’s Indigenous Law Center, the Intertribal Agricultural Council – Great Lakes, the Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council, the Menominee Department of Agriculture and Food Systems and the Great Lakes Intertribal Food Coalition.

In matters of research, please refer to the Menominee Tribal Ordinance Chapter 395, especially section 15, for instructions on how to proceed in a way that protects national sovereignty.

Program Timeline

2023: CIAS organized a workshop in collaboration with hosts Marbleseed and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection along with several other partners at the Organic Farming Conference’s Organic University. Farm to Community Wellness: Networking Local Food Supply Chains highlights the experience of BIPOC and other historically underserved farmers, distributors and food outlets to build healthy food supply chains. The center continues to partner with the Tribal Elder Food Box program and the newly formed Great Lakes Intertribal Food Coalition, headquartered at the Menominee Nation Department of Agriculture and Food. The Center is partnering with the newly-funded Extension-led Indigenous Food Systems project. This three year effort will conduct research on animal systems, manoomin, maple syrup, and food as medicine and nutrition. It is also partnering with Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council to provide training.

2022: CIAS partnered with the Organic Collaborative and WTCAC on a planning grant for Tribal Nations. We are conducting a study on wholesale supply chains in Wisconsin’s northern thirteen counties, and investigating Native Nations wholesale food systems in that effort. CIAS participated in meetings for the Tribal Elder Food Box program.

2021: CIAS partnered with CALS Office of the Dean, the UW Law School, and the Organic Collaborative to offer a workshop for faculty, staff and students on how to partner with Native Nations. The Center’s Citizen Advisory Council meeting was hosted by The Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and included tours of the farms, and food system facilities.

2020: As part of our virtual summer Citizens Advisory Council meeting, originally to be hosted by the Oneida Nation, Dan Cornelius gave a talk on Food Sovereignty in Wisconsin, available on YouTube. CIAS participated in the Intertribal Agriculture Council / INFAS Native Nations mentorship program, to work closely with graduate students pursuing food systems careers. The center co-sponsored an on-line screening and follow-up panel on the movie “Gather”, organized by FH King Students for Sustainable Agriculture.

2019: CIAS partnered with the Intertribal Agriculture Council to offer a workshop entitled “Tribal Farming 101: Starting a Farm” at the College of Menominee Nation. Sixty eight people attended the two-day workshop, representing Oneida, Ho-Chunk, Lac du Flambeau, Menominee, Bad River Band of Ojibwe, Stockbridge Munsee, Lac Courte Oreilles, Red Lake Nation, Crow Creek Sioux, Shoshone Nation, Arapaho, and Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. CIAS also provided support to the on-line learning community “Intertribal Seed Stewardship Initiative” organized by Sierra Seeds and the UW Department of Horticulture, Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center, the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network, and the Intertribal Agriculture Council.

Ricardo Salvador keynote for AFHV 2018

2018: CIAS hosted the annual Agriculture Food and Human Values Conference on the UW Madison campus, and centered the event on food sovereignty. A pre-conference tour, led by UW geographer Bill Gartner, featured the region’s First People. Native chef, Claudia Serrato, worked with UW Food Service to prepare the banquet, and Rowen White from Sierra Seeds gave the keynote address. Dr. Franklin Sage from the Dine’ Policy Institute was a featured speaker. Later that summer, CIAS arranged a day for Menominee Youth Leadership participants to visit the UW Madison campus to learn about food sovereignty and wellness work on-campus. The tour included meeting with faculty and staff from the Great Lakes Indigenous Law Center, the Native American Center for Health Professions, and meeting students from FH King Students of Sustainable Agriculture at the student garden.


Food Sovereignty Symposium 2017

2017: CIAS co-hosted with the Intertribal Agriculture Coalition and many others, the Food Sovereignty Conference on the UW Madison campus, drawing 300+ participants to meals, workshops, panels, and hands on activities over five days. CIAS also partnered with the Menominee Nation, UW Geography Department, and UW Milwaukee on a three year project entitled “Menominee Agricultural Practices, Historical Perspectives, and Late Prehistoric Reality”. A student minigrant award went to Rebecca Dower (Patty Loew, Human Ecology) on “Traditional foods and food sovereignty among Native communities.

2016: Dan Cornelius, enrolled with the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and representing the Intertribal Agriculture Council, joined the Citizens Advisory Council. A student minigrant was awarded to Malorie Imhoff (Steve Ventura, Soils/Nelson Institute) on the “Impact of conservation projects on indigenous communities”.

2015: CIAS participated at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College Local Food Producers Summit, and the Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit hosted by the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. A student minigrant was awarded to Diana Peterson (Eve Emschwiller, Botany) on “Wild-rice and Climate Change: A Case Study”.

2013: The first student minigrant cohort included an award to Jessie Conaway (Patty Loew, Life Sciences Communication) on “Environmental health and justice issues on the Bad River Reservation”.

2012: CIAS staff and faculty associates participated in the first Great Lakes Region Producer Summit, organized by Dan Cornelius and hosted by the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.