Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal member Mary Belle Zook spent her childhood on a farm in the Oklahoma panhandle, raising show animals and participating in the National FFA Organization. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with an agricultural communications degree in 2015.

Now serving as the communications director for the Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative through the University of Arkansas School of Law, she brings together her skills, passions, agricultural background and Tribal heritage each day to help Native farmers and producers.

“As an Anishnabe kwe (woman), I’m thinking about, and other (Indigenous) folks are also thinking about, the past seven generations and the future seven generations. I want to be able to help leave this world better than what’s been given to me. I want my daughter to be able to have clean water and food. I want my great-grandchildren to have that, too,” Zook said.

Mary Belle Zook visits Wisconsin Point, Wisconsin, and the Fond du Lac Reservation for a food sovereignty conference at their Tribal college.

She discussed policy, personal perspectives, her work with communities across the country and how Native communities are taking control of their food and sustainability.

Find out more about the Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative at

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