Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "agriculture"

Thanksgiving Agriculture

11/24/16 | View Comments

This Thanksgiving, many in the United States gather for a shared meal of traditional foods. Although regional variations exist, typical foods include turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pecans, green beans, and cranberries. Perhaps more interesting than the menu itself is North America’s history of traditional foods, and the agricultural practices that keep us fed, up to the present and into the future.

Native American and First Nation Agriculture

At a very general level, Native Americans were hunters and gathers, but also developed farming practices. Depending on the local ecosystem and distinct tribal practices, Native Peoples in North America domesticated corn, tomatoes and potatoes. They hunted local game, or gathered tubers, greens, berries and shoots. Practices included cultivating according to the season, rotating crops, or using “slash-and-burn” techniques. What is common across the diversity of Native practices is a longstanding “sacred value” of sustainable traditions and respect of the land. Indigenous environmental management practices of the Menominee in modern day Wisconsin, British Columbian coastal tribes, the Lakota People of the Dakotas, and the sprawling confederacy of the Iroquois People are discussed in a 2010 book “The Native Mind and the Cultural Construction of Nature”.

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