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, and the Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council.


Project Timeline

2022: CIAS is partnering 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 chains in that effort.

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 work 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 facilities.

2020: CIAS participated in the Intertribal Agriculture Council / INFAS Native Nations mentorship program, to work closely with graduate students pursuing food systems careers. Co-sponsored an on-line screening and follow-up panel on the movie “Gather”, organized by FHKing 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. 68 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.

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 tour for Menominee Youth Leadership participants on the UW Madison campus to learn about food sovereignty and wellness.

2017: CIAS co-hosted with IAC 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”.Minigrant award 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. Minigrant awarded to Malorie Imhoff (Steve Ventura, Soils/Nelson Institute) on “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. Minigrant awarded to Diana Peterson (Eve Emschwiller, Botany) on “Wild-rice and Climate Change: A Case Study”.

2013: First 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.