‘A sanctuary’: how neglected Native American communities are organizing their own food hubs

June 6, 2024 - Gilbert, Samuel

"On the Hopi reservation in the high desert of northern Arizona, construction is underway.

A dilapidated auto garage is being converted into a fully-equipped kitchen, food storage areas, dining room and an attached greenhouse. The new facilities will become the first-ever Hopi-region food hub, used to increase Indigenous access to fresh, healthy and affordable food through farm shares, farmer’s markets, agricultural workshops, seed sharing, cooking lessons and other programs.

Food hubs – community-run, centralized locations to produce, store and distribute food – are part of an emerging, Native-led movement to address the longstanding food crisis among Indigenous communities in the US: a lack of fresh produce and a decline in traditional farming stemming from centuries of colonization, land loss, theft and displacement.

It’s a strategy that advocates say is becoming increasingly common across the US south-west.

“We are building a network of farmers and producers to support the local food economy and address our people’s needs,” said Lilian Hill, who, along with her husband, Jacobo Marcus, started the nonprofit Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute. Over the past 20 years, the institute has worked to rebuild food security in the Hopi Nation, establishing relationships with nearly 100 regional food producers. Last year, it received a $250,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand and build the Hopi food hub, which is set to open in November."


You can find the article here.