Native Youth Leadership Alliance

(Paul Cline) My Summer Harvest and the Importance of Traditional Foods

 I spent this past summer working at North Cascades National Park (in Washington state) where I learned how to propagate some of the most delicious native plants. Propagation is the process to reproduce a plant from seed.  Summer time was also berry season and we collected Cascade huckleberries, service berries, red huckleberries and wild strawberries.  We harvested these berries for a winter stock and to propagate them for their next generation.

Our traditional foods are so important because they will bring hope to a community by closing the gap to sustainable and healthy living. So many foods have been forgotten or endangered because we have become disconnected from our foods and medicines.  We are in danger of losing our traditional foods because we shop at the grocery stores for our food and think this is “FRESH” and more convenient.   My vision is to increase the food sovereignty in Native communities and we are beginning to share more of our vision and strategies to achieve this among NYLA fellows.

I started back this semester at Northwest Indian College and attended the Our Food is Our Medicine: Revitalizing Native Food Traditions Conference in September and the Muckleshoot Harvest Festival at Muckleshoot Tribal College in October.

See Paul Cline’s NYLA Profile