Native Food Summit Builds on the Strengths and Wisdom of Land-Based Cultures

By Tamra Testerman

French-Lakotan Pati Martinson, the interim director for Native American Food Sovereignty and current director of Taos County Economic Development Corp., said, “Connecting food to health… the land and water and those seeds that people have saved and traded for generations is critical for our survival.”

The working philosophy behind the organizations she leads is to support the “food, land and cultures of the peoples of Northern, New Mexico.”

Friday and Saturday (Oct. 26-27), Martinson and the groups she represents will host The Native Food Summit in Taos. Native Food Summits have been held around the country for several years, but this is the first time in New Mexico.

Martinson said it is a joint project of NAFSA, Traditional Native American Farmers from Tesuque Pueblo, Red Willow Farms, Taos Pueblo and TCEDC. The gathering will feature Native chefs providing meals with traditional and local ingredients, workshops and demonstrations over two days at TCEDC in Taos and Red Willow Farms at Taos Pueblo. The activities over the weekend are primarily for Native people. One special event is open to the public: a food and artisans market at Red Willow Friday from noon until 3 p.m.

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