Cultural Conservancy lays groundwork for future intertribal biocultural center

posted October 24, 2019

Thank you to Carol Benfell, special reporter to Sonoma West news, for shedding light on the beautiful field of growth in Graton, CA — where The Cultural Conservancy, lead by CEO Melissa Nelson, will develop a center for food sovereignty and community: “a Native place of refuge and learning”. Click here for the full article. And to learn more about the Conservancy, visit www.nativeland.org. For the highlights, read on:

“The Conservancy has focused on ‘returning native lands to native hands’ and restoring cultural eco-knowledge and traditions around the globe.

The group’s many projects include sponsoring the first Native American Land Trust in Maui; historic recordings of the Salt Songs of the Southern Paiute; recording Tibetan elders from India; and supporting the Apache Survival Coalition to protect sacred sites on Mt. Graham, Arizona.

More recently, The Conservancy has focused on the native peoples of California and “food sovereignty,” a movement arising in the 1990s that focuses on people’s right to raise culturally appropriate food, using ecologically sound and sustainable methods.

The food sovereignty movement is a part of the larger food movement that, for the last several decades, has seen young people moving back to the land in Sonoma County, raising organic crops with sustainable farming and selling them to the local community at farmers’ markets or through subscription.

The food grown on the farm will be distributed to local tribes — Miwok, Pomo and Wappo — and intertribally to Native Americans living in the Bay Area. The surplus will be sold to restaurants or at farmers’ markets.” October, 2019