ONEIDA, Wisconsin (WBAY) – The Oneida Nation recently received international recognition. Their integrated food systems, which include an aquaponics facility, emergency pantry, and food distribution center, all contribute to their efforts to keep the tradition alive. Plus, lay the foundation for their future.
“As indigenous people, we know that our food is more than just meeting our immediate nutritional needs,” Vanessa Miller, a Oneida woman who works in the Food and Agriculture Division of Environmental Health and Safety at the Oneida nation. “It really connects us to our ways of origin, to our community, to our territorial bases, to our identity. We know these all have positive impacts on our self-esteem and, by the way, direct and immediate positive impacts on our overall health and well-being. “
Part of how they make sure their food grows from strong roots is the focus on reclaiming their Oneida identity through food. The tribe emphasizes taking care of the Earth as a whole.
A mentality recognized in the 2021 United Nations report “The state of food security and nutrition in the world”. The global assessment analyzed malnutrition in 2020 and predicted what hunger might look like by 2030.
The article shared that indigenous peoples’ food systems provide best practices in sustainability, incorporating seasonality and food resilience. He only mentioned eight indigenous nations in the world. The Oneida nation was the only one in the United States.
“It’s absolutely something we’re passionate about, having our work recognized,” said Miller. “But, something that we know we still have the opportunity and responsibility to build upon and help promote throughout the United States and the Indian country.”
The Oneida Nation apple orchard spans approximately 35 to 40 acres. This is only part of Oneida’s integrated food systems with a processing apple cannery, a farmer’s market and several other farms that help maintain the traditions of the Oneida Nation and provide stable sources of food for their community.
If you are interested in visiting the apple orchard, you can start on Tuesday, September 7th. Retail store hours will be Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday / Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for potential customers. To pick your own apples, you can drop by the store Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday / Sunday 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to purchase your own fruit.
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