Celebrating and Supporting Our Indigenous Communities
By Erica Merritt
This week we marked Indigenous Peoples Day and celebrated both the history and the continuing story of dozens of tribal peoples who were the first to inhabit our continent. We recognize the tragedies these people have endured but also the beauty of their cultures, and we ponder how to support indigenous communities and help them build an autonomous and sustainable future.
At Forager, our focus has always been on preserving the health and wellness of native peoples in the face of the disproportionate toll they have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Forming a coalition with gleaner organizations near reservation lands, we have coordinated the donation and logistical planning to deliver nearly 80,000 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables so far, to the Navajo, the Tohono O’odham, the Pasqui Yaqui and soon to the Goschute as well.
We have benefitted gratefully from our personal relationship with some truly inspiring leaders from these reservations and are happy we have been able to help in the healing and containment process. We now have seen positive cases of the virus dramatically decreasing in these geographies and we feel that this can be attributed, in part, to our work. Specifically at the Navajo Nation, where our food donations were utilized in the quarantine health packages delivered to those who had tested positive, and who were keeping their communities safe by self-isolating.
However, our work is only possible with the help of monetary donations to fund the cost of obtaining and moving this produce. You can help; please consider donating to our GoFundMe and or sharing the link amongst your networks.