Along with Narragansett artist, farmer and educator, Dawn M. Spears, Put Local on Your Tray is pleased to announce a new campaign series called, “From this Land: Honoring Native Foods”. This is a pilot campaign and will be a limited release to Tray Pledge Districts and FoodCorps supported districts. Stay tuned for our full release when we incorporate feedback in the near future and, in the meantime, enjoy the resources below!
Dawn M. Spears (Narragansett) is the Director of the Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance (NIAA). For more than twenty-five years Dawn has worked to support Indigenous arts as an artist, educator, demonstrator, and organizer.
Artist Statement : I try to capture the vibrant colors of our natural world; they are my inspiration along with my appreciation of the symbolism within our indigenous culture. I enjoy opportunities that allow us to share our work and give us space to be able to dispel the myths and stereotypes that our people have endured.
The work of Put Local on Your Tray is to increase accessibility and the amount of CT grown food in school cafeterias and to early care providers. We do this as part of a broader effort to make high quality meals universally available to all children. We understand that this goal is not possible without dismantling racism in our food, agricultural and educational systems. We cannot reasonably hope to succeed without acknowledging where we have neglected this in the past and how we commit to changing as we move forward. We are committed to transforming our network with new partnerships with Native American-led organizations and communities, while shifting power to engage in authentic relationships with BIPOC leadership. Special thanks to our partner, Dawn Spears, who contributed to the creation of this new campaign and the resources provided below.
We offer these resources to share more accurately about Native foodways and the people who were first here. These resources are meant to raise awareness in non-native school communities. Educators should be mindful of cultural appropriation and understand that Native students may experience lessons differently.
As we develop this offering please share any constructive feedback, comments and additional resources. Contact Campaigns Coordinator, Abigail DuBois, email@example.com
Resources for Educators
Indigenous Foodways Are the Focus in a Growing Number of Classrooms - CivilEats article from this February highlighting the richness of this work.
First Nations Development Institute (FNDI)→FNDI improves economic conditions for Native Americans through direct financial grants, technical assistance & training, and advocacy & policy. Check out their Native Farm to School series.
National Farm to School Network → Check out the work they have done in partnership with FNDI
Three Sisters Garden: From FNDI, a comprehensive curriculum on Three Sisters garden.
Maple in Every School →This is a brand new toolkit from VT FEED, a great farm to school resource and very applicable to Connecticut.
Native American Sugaring Tradition is alive and rich. Learn more in this article
Tomaquag Children’s Hour Read Aloud: Strawberry Thanksgiving by Paulla Jennings