Centering Indigenous knowledge about healthy eating

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Photo courtesy FSFE — Food Coalition
The FSFE — Food Coalition hosted the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association alongside indigenous and Hispanic community members this past week to discuss the indigenous food system at Chimney Rock.

By Rose Chavez
Food System/Food Equity Coalition

The FSFE — Food Coalition hosted the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association alongside indigenous and Hispanic community members this past week to discuss the indigenous food system at Chimney Rock. 

Chimney Rock, located just outside of Pagosa Springs, is the home and sacred site for the Ancestral Puebloan people. According to the Indigenous Food System Network, “Indigenous food systems include all of the land, air, water, soil and culturally important plant, animal and fungi species that have sustained indigenous peoples over thousands of years.” 

 The FSFE — Food Coalition is interested in centering Indigenous ecological knowledge, wisdom and values to learn more about the locally growing nutritious traditional whole foods and plant medicines that indigenous people believe are critically woven into overall health. 

“The connections between food, land, health and culture are all essential to disease prevention and overall wellness,’’ shared one participant. 

Through this collaboration, the FSFE — Food Coalition and community members will continue meeting to further understand the indigenous food system at Chimney Rock. Additionally, they will collaborate to develop nutrition resources that can support the community in growing, preparing and eating these wholesome, traditional foods to prevent and heal from dietary-related diseases. The idea involves respectfully leveraging these unique cultural assets to advance nutrition security for all in Archuleta County. 

Participants also shared that, “centering Indigenous foods and heritage in our community could provide a start toward a restorative framework for health and community building and reconciling past social and environmental injustices in an approach that people of all cultures can relate to. Food will be what brings the people together.” 

As the FSFE — Food Coalition continues to gather information, the community is invited to share their knowledge and skills to contribute to more understanding. To participate in future meetings and to learn more, contact the Food Coalition at community@fsfearchuleta.org or (401) 371-3227. To donate to support the work of the FSFE — Food Coalition, please visit our website: https://www.foodcoalition4archuleta.org/donate.html.