The Menominee Nation will coordinate the procurement of indigenous foods on behalf of the Oneida Nation, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, Ho-Chunk Nation, Forest County Potawatomi, Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center for the Tribal Elder Food Box Program (TEFBP). Each respective Tribe will coordinate its own distribution efforts and will make additional direct purchases for additional community distribution.
As Great Lakes tribes, we have limited access to healthy food and suffer from food insecurity, now having the poorest health outcomes. We seek to reclaim the health benefits, sustainability, and resiliency of our lost food system. In 2020, the Wisconsin Tribes began to reestablish traditional Inter-Tribal trade routes through TEFBP and the 638 Self-determination Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) projects.
The TEFBP has provided over 900 Tribal homes with approximately 10,800 food boxes to date. It has demonstrated an increased access to healthy food for Tribal elders, increased opportunities for Indigenous growers, producers, and ranchers as vendors, and solidified long-term partnerships. The Red Cliff, MITW, and Oneida Nations have also demonstrated their capacity to procure and distribute indigenous foods through the 638 FDPIR project.
The unique approaches include indigenous and conventional foods purchased from indigenous producers, such as, but not limited to, white fish, bison, beef, wild rice, apples, and produce. We intend to build on these important pilot projects towards a vision of an Intertribal Food System.