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INDIAN COUNTRY COMMUNITY ASSET DIRECTORY

FOOD, AGRICULTURE, AND HEALTH EQUITY INNOVATIONS


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I-Collective

​​I-Collective is a group of 18 Indigenous chefs, activists, herbalists, and seed and knowledge keepers that work collaboratively to increase visibility of diverse Indigenous foods and culture through education. “Indigenous, Inspired, Innovative, and Independent”

Quick Stats

  • 18 collective voices brought together through Indigenous foods
  • Collective includes award-winning Indigenous chefs
  • I-Collective is community driven, with contributing members from various communities

Strengthening Intertribal Relationships Through Food

Although the I-Collective have no full-time or paid staff, they come together to host events and serve meals that incorporate Indigenous foods. These events serve as catalysts for education about how health equity is connected to foods that were abundant for Indigenous people pre-colonization. Feeding the people in the community they are visiting is a way to reflect and show respect to the Indigenous land they are on, often ensuring they are able to prioritize the foods that are indigenous to the region. Procuring first foods is often expensive and time consuming, but I-Collective is dedicated to telling the stories of these foods

Through their combined voice, I-Collective isbuilding bridges and bringing together valuable perspectives on culture and food through their members. Their commitment to elevate their collective voice without outside influence can sometimes place limitations on funding opportunities, as the narrative can sometimes challenge perceptions from outside allies.

The stories our food tells include the removal, suffering, and exclusion of our people and our foods have experienced in this country. The I-Collective is very clear about this, and that message can be difficult for non-Native people.

Revitalizing Traditional Foods Through Experience and Education

I-Collective is presenting a truthful history of the impact of colonization on Indigenous food systems. Their goal is to “celebrate a new Thanksgiving with an Indigenous framework.”

With their diverse experience and backgrounds, they are providing an innovative food experience through an Indigenous lens. As the chefs, activists, herbalists, and seed and knowledge keepers develop within the space of Indigenous food sovereignty, they also uplift the work of the collective, bringing with them the Indigenous communities that are revitalizing their own traditional foods.

Sources

Hillel Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), Interview by Matthew Hayashi, Headwater People. 18 August 2019.

https://www.icollectiveinc.org/


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