Gather – The Fight To Revitalize Our Native Foodways

Gather – The Fight To Revitalize Our Native Foodways

Posted By BrittanyLCerny November 12th, 2020 Last Updated on: November 12th, 2020

The stunning documentary, Gather, follows four individuals as they share their experiences as natives and their plan to keep their culture alive while feeding and nourishing their communities. They are all in the midst of a cultural movement in hopes of reconnecting their Native communities to the somewhat lost heritage and ancient ways concerning food production and consumption. As Native identities struggle to remain in a land of continued oppression and invisibility, these four prove that there are still communities out there that are unshakeable and still stand in the wake of decades of historical suffering.


Recently PowWows.com had the opportunity to speak with the producer, director and Twila about the film!  Watch our discussion:

 



“Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political, and culture identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide,” (Gather.Film). 

What exactly is food sovereignty and why is it important to Native Americans?

“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally-appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations,” (Nyeleni). 

Native American paths to food sovereignty and sustainability are imperative to these communities. It empowers them to become independent of government and corporations that have historically oppressed their people. To be able to protect the land they live on and cause it to provide 100% of the communities’ needs is one of their absolute goals.

 

Image Credit: Renan Ozturk/Illumine via NYTimes



The individuals (click on their names to follow on Instagram) that the documentary follows along this journey include: 

“Craig is an acclaimed chef and founder of the Native American Culinary Association, and is attempting to establish a first-of-its-kind indigenous café where Apache chefs prepare Apache grown produce for Apache diners.” 

During a talk with the Young Farmers Conference, Craig states that his land is part of what is considered “Ground Zero” for American colonialism. The land is calorie rich, but unfortunately is considered a “food desert”.  He also says that 70% of all foods consumed around the world originated by indie genius people in the Americas—which many people don’t realize. 

He whips up a creation with ingredients from the native landscape to share with those in the audience, which is what he does best.


Dubray is the youngest of the bunch—at only 17-years old:

“She is taking a research project to the Regional Science Fair, analyzing the comparative health effects of eating a beef-based diet versus a traditional Lakota diet based on Buffalo.”

She fully believes that getting back to the basics will help Native communities become healthier and stronger, without relying on non-traditional foods.


Gensaw, who resides in Northern California, along with his group of friends, are fighting for the preservation of their river and access to food. 

“Overfishing, dams and climate change have almost eliminated salmon populations vital to tribal food supplies and spiritual practices.”

Gensaw hopes to help protect the water by bringing awareness to the issue and taking on the government and big corporations that are on the other side.


Cassadore has a vision: to help Native youth discover the delicacies of their land and to become independent food gatherers. 

“Twila is a master forager, an elder and medicine woman of the San Carlos Apache tribe. Haunted by a childhood of abuse, Twila battled addiction until she discovered healing through her tribe's ancestral ways of harvesting and foraging.”

To learn more about this movement and to get to know these four amazing trailblazers, watch Gather—and pass it on to friends and family in order to spread the word. 

Knowledge is power. 

Gather is now available to stream on iTunes, Amazon, and Vimeo-on-Demand. 

Follow Gather on IG @gatherfilm and Facebook @gatherfilmproject


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About BrittanyLCerny

About PowWows.com - Founded in 1996, PowWows.com is your online gathering for all things Native American culture. Explore American Indian Culture through articles, interviews, videos, photos, and live streaming.



3 thoughts on “Gather – The Fight To Revitalize Our Native Foodways

  1. native plants gardener, cook, and Chiricahua Apache (& Latina), this article and more shows hope, and am excited. is the best wat to live off the land, that is why we need to dance to heal earth mother, blessings wado

  2. As a long-time Naturalist, and forager, as well as rookie edible native plants gardener, cook, and Chiricahua Apache (& Latina), this article and more shows hope, and am excited. Thank-you.

  3. Annette Elder-Evins says:

    Our bodies are interdependent and intrinsic parts of the natural environment. We have balanced our diets by gathering our traditional foods for eons. For a few hundred years we have developed diseases from being cut off from our traditional ways of being. It is a stretch to gather even a small percentage of our diets.My grandmother was a charter member of the native plants society. She would take me everywhere to gather. When she moved to British Columbia with her husband. I started distributing native plant seeds along the roads on my bicycle for the state when I was a teenager. Today I see these stands and know how vital they are for our future generations

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