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. 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.
Mary Belle Zook visits Wisconsin Point, Wisconsin, and the Fond du Lac Reservation for a food sovereignty conference at their Tribal college.
Every part of a dandelion has a use, whether it is making tea from the roots, crafting salads from its greens or making syrup and garnishes out of the flowers.
Just like a building needs a strong, stable foundation to last, soil also requires a solid base to grow the plants necessary to feed and clothe the world’s population. Indigenous agriculture techniques have understood this principal since time immemorial, but now modern agriculture is catching up.
Incorporating Indigenous agricultural systems into food policy can address public health issues while simultaneously healing Native Americans physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s community garden, Gtegemen (We Grow It), stands as a testament to the Tribe’s endeavors to revitalize Potawatomi agricultural customs. Garden staff educate the public through work parties and the development of a heritage seed library.