Menominee clinic receives grant for food program

10 ‘focus group feasts’ planned

The Menominee Tribal Clinic recently received a $10,000 grant for its Menominee Food Sharing Focus Group Feasts project.

The grant came from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado.

Ten “focus group feasts” will be held to discuss food sovereignty and food sharing practices featuring native/local foods of the community.

The clinic has been a partner in the Community Engagement Work Group, which identified childhood obesity as a key community issue and helped create the Menominee Wellness Initiative.

“This is a great opportunity for the Menominee community,” said Joan Delabreau, Menominee Tribal chairwoman. “Our tribal partners, through the Community Engagement Group, have worked diligently on gathering the necessary data that identified childhood obesity not only as a crisis for our community, but also a larger symptom of historical trauma.

“Through this initiative, we are in a better position to not only work to change obesity factors with our children, but also work to heal the long-standing wounds of the generations, present and future, brought on through historical and intergenerational trauma. This opportunity will serve as a bridge for our people to connect to our past practices of food sovereignty that yielded a healthier way of life.”

Meanwhile, Menominee students participating in the University of Arkansas School of Law’s 2016 Native Youth in Agriculture Summer Leadership Summit will be eligible to receive $1,000 mini-grants to conduct their own food sovereignty assessment activities in the community.

The information obtained will be used to inform future planning and tailoring of efforts to build a sustainable local food system.

Also, an art contest, “Menominee Youth Feed Ourselves,” will be held over the summer for grades K-12.

Under the Native American Food Systems Initiative, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, First Nations has awarded grants to 10 native communities looking to conduct food assessments and learn more about the historical, current and future state of their local food systems.