A U.S.-based Indigenous non-profit is attempting to assist Wabanaki communities have entry to sustainable meals by distributing fruit and nut bushes.
Nibezun is predicated in Passadumkeag, Maine, roughly 50 kilometres northeast of Bangor, and is providing as much as 300 seashore plum, elderberry or American hazelnut bushes to neighborhood members.
The Wabanaki Confederacy consists of the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqey, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy and Abenaki nations.
Kassidy Bernard is L’nu (Mi’kmaw for individual of the land) from We’koqma’q First Nation, about 240 kilometres northeast of Halifax, and makes use of they/them pronouns.
Bernard was thrilled to be taught in regards to the meals safety initiative as a result of they need to implement a meals sharing program of their neighborhood.
“Having that, to depend on one another and to maintain ourselves for such a fundamental want, it is such an enormous reassurance to me,” mentioned Bernard.
Bernard is ordering a seashore plum tree from Nibezun. The neighborhood already has entry to an elderberry tree and a hazelnut tree, so Bernard mentioned a plum tree can be a pleasant addition.
Bernard is studying foraging practices from their sister and sooner or later desires of dwelling utterly off the land.
“[I] love the thought of connecting to our blood reminiscence and ancestral methods of consuming, too,” mentioned Bernard.
Bernard hopes that by studying tips on how to develop a meals tree they will go alongside that data sometime.
Nibezun is Penobscot for drugs and the group appears to heal Wabanaki communities by way of meals, ceremony and different programming. The meals tree venture began in 2020 after plenty of bushes have been donated to the group.
The meals bushes this yr come from ReTreeUS, one other U.S. non-profit that encourages sustainable farming.
Nicole Paul, one of many co-directors at Nibezun who’s Passamaquoddy from Sipayik (Nice Level), mentioned reclaiming meals sovereignty is vital as a result of what we eat is related to language and tales, and bringing these again to Indigenous communities is crucial.
Nick Bear, the meals tree program co-ordinator at Nibezun, mentioned sustainable farming is about being a great steward to the land.
“It is a reward to take care of Mom Earth and replenish her by placing issues again into the earth,” mentioned Bear, who’s Penobscot, Passamaquoddy and Wolastoqey with ties to Indian Island, Maine, and Sipayik (Nice Level).
“We’re attempting to increase our attain and do issues like this for our communities and our individuals as a lot as attainable,” mentioned Bear.
He researched what number of crops he might ship with no allow into Canada however nonetheless has to observe up with the Canadian Meals Inspection Company on different laws.