Meswaki Nation, Iowa


The Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initative is a program of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa. MFSI works with the Meskwaki people to redefine our agriculture system to be focused around traditional, healthy, and sustainable foods. The program provides workshops, strategic planning, and other educational opportunties and resources to community members to provide support and opportunities as the Meskwaki redefine and reclaim their food system. This work is integrated with school gardens, community gardens, and the Meskwaki Commnunity Farm, a 40-acre organic workers cooperative farm.

The mission of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, aka the Meskwaki Nation is, ‘To provide those conditions and resources, on a continual basis, that allows the Meskwaki to survive as a viable people and culture.’ Strengthening the community’s food system contributes to the Tribe’s commitment to this mission in a meaningful and sustainable way. Rebuilding the Meskwaki food system to include more locally grown and traditional foods empowers the community to solve issues related to health, the environment, and creates new opportunities for growth in a way that celebrates Meskwaki culture and community. Formed in 2012, the Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative is moving into its second year of rebuilding the community’s food system with a lot of momentum. In 2012, they undertook a strategic planning effort–a food sovereignty assessment, raised over 9,000 pounds of produce for the Tribe’s Senior Center in a community garden, started a garden at the Meskwaki Settlement School, began offering classes and workshops related to gardening, foraging, and preserving foods, and held a food film festival and a wildly popular traditional harvest meal. They look forward to increasing the amount of classes, workshops and events offered; growing the community gardens; completing the food sovereignty assessment; and launching the Meskwaki Community Farm, a 40 acre farm located on the Settlement.

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“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples, communities, and countries to define their own agricultural, labor, fishing, food and land policies which are ecologically, socially, economically, and culturally appropriate to their unique circumstances.”

–Food Sovereignty: A Right for All

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