NAFSI grant will aid Muckleshoot in their efforts to access more traditional foods
By Monica Brown Tulalip News writer
The Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project has been awarded a $37,500 grant from the First Nations Development Institute. The grant will help fund the project s explorations of the Muckleshoot Tribe’s food assets and increase access to local, healthy and traditional foods. Through explorations, participants will gain an understanding of Native foods and build food security throughout the community.
Project participants enjoy community engagement through workshops, harvesting and feasts. Hands-on workshops are designed to teach traditional food principles and how to approach preparing them in a more modern way. Project coordinator, Valerie Segrest states
“The Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project is community driven and aims to increase access and revitalize a traditional and local healthy food system.”
Tribal cooks and established community groups are coming together to develop a new policy about food which will focus on a more traditional and nourishing food program. The new policy development is facilitated by professional chefs who are invited to meet with tribal cooks and the community groups during cook retreats. The project participants are working to join tribal kitchens and create a menu program. By creating a reliable menu that can be used throughout tribal kitchens they will be able to assess the food quantities needed for when they are ready to produce their own food. The menu program will also inform the five-year food sovereignty/action plan that is currently being organized.
The project comes from a community based participatory research project which was conducted in partnership with Northwest Indian College and the Burke Museum in 2007. The project operates year round and is open to all community members.
The First Nations Development Institute’s Native American Food System Initiative (NAFSI) grant is intended to help tribes and Native communities build sustainable food systems such as community gardens, food banks, food pantries and/or other agricultural projects related to Native food-systems control. The 31 grants were made possible by the generous support of the AARP Foundation, The Christensen Fund, CHS Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Advocacy and Outreach, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Walmart Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
To read more about the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project please visit their website at