Kevin Hart, a Red Lake Tribal member, works to educate tribal members and others about traditional foods. (Michael Meuers)

Documentary 'Regaining Food Sovereignty' Highlights Movement to Revitalize Indigenous Culture

Michael Meuers
6/19/13

Lakeland Public Television, an educational television station serving northern and central Minnesota, has collaborated with The Indigenous Environmental Network to produce a one-hour documentary about Indigenous/traditional foods entitled "Regaining Food Sovereignty."

The Indigenous Environmental Network is a grassroots alliance of Indigenous peoples dedicated to protecting Mother Earth and her natural resources, as well as the health of Native people, while building economically sustainable communities.

The film airs on Lakeland Public Television this Thursday, June 20 at 8 p.m. and  will be repeated on Saturday, June 22, at 9 p.m. (channel 9 in the Bemidji area, channel 22 in the Brainerd area). Soon after the broadcast, Regaining Food Sovereignty will be available on Lakeland Public Television's YouTube channel in High Definition for viewing world-wide, reported Red Lake Nation News.

On the documentary, elders discuss hunting and gathering natural foods, such as roots, berries, game, fish, and of course wild rice. The film underscores that diabetes and obesity have reached epidemic proportions, especially in Indian country, but highlights how, today, a new generation is trying to revitalize indigenous culture and regain food sovereignty.

The film team takes viewers to a Buffalo Harvest in Yankton, South Dakota, then explains how colonialism and the commodity system have harmed indigenous peoples, and even hits on the history of fry bread.

Red Lake members or residents interviewed for the film include Angie Fastwolf; Anna Gibbs; Kevin Hart, Sr.; Floyd Jourdain, Jr.; David Manuel; Darwin Sumner and Adelle Zephier. Several people from Leech Lake and White Earth were also interviewed for the documentary.

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