Native Youth Leadership Alliance

(Paul Cline) Insight and Inspiration from Food Sovereignty Symposium

Hello NYLA community.

NYLA members (Mariana and Winona) and I attended a two-day symposium in Seattle, May 1st and 2nd about cultural food practices and ecological knowledge. The symposium celebrated the future plans for Weleb?atxw, a community hall on the University of Washington campus.  This longhouse style building will open in 2014. The workshops at the symposium symbolized the work that will be continued at Weleb?atxw.

This inaugural event brought together like-minded people on issues like water rights, treaty rights, environmental protection, indigenous food practice and sovereignty.

The speakers shared a wealth of information that shed light on the topic of decolonization and action. The symposium was very empowering and influential to my course of study. I am studying ethnobotany at, which means the study of human-plant relationship.

As an ethnobotanist people like Alan Parker (Chippewa-Cree) Director, Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute, Professor Emeritus, Evergreen State College and Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot), Project Coordinator, Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project have influenced my ideas of revitalizing traditional plant knowledge.

Alan Parker said, “It’s essential to create the habitat for our people to have access to their resources.”  Valerie Segrest said, “Treaty rights are our rights and responsibility to these foods.”

This symposium has expanded my ideas of action about revitalization.

Thank you NYLA for all the support.

See Paul’s NYLA Profile