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Hands sharing seeds: Seed Savers Exchange
Welcoming seeds home: Seed rematriation webinar series


Jan 18, 2022 12:47 PM

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Shelley Buffalo
Shelley is an enrolled member of the Meskwaki tribe and lives on the Meskwaki Settlement with her two sons. The Meskwaki are unique in that their land based community is a settlement, not a reservation. Established in 1857 with the purchase of 80 acres near Tama, Iowa, the Meskwaki Settlement has grown to approximately 8,400 acres. Shelley joined Seed Savers Exchange for the 2021 growing season as a Seasonal Seed Steward. She now works for Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT) through the Americorp VISTA program. Her service assignment with SILT is to build capacity in farmer outreach in order to increase land access for socially disadvantaged farmers. Shelley served her community recently in coordinator roles at Red Earth Gardens and with Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative. She continues to advocate for food sovereignty and local foods through her personal consultancy, networks, and partnerships. She is an advocate for land back, indigenous food ways, food justice, and rematriation.
Dr. Rebecca Webster
Dr. Rebecca Webster is an enrolled citizen of the Oneida Nation and an assistant professor in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Her research interests focus on tribal governance and food sovereignty. Her philosophy is that every time an Indigenous person plants a seed, that is an act of resistance, an assertion of sovereignty, and a reclamation of identity. With this in mind, an Oneida faithkeeper named the Webster family’s 10-acre homestead Ukwakhwa: Tsinu Niyukwayayʌthoslu (our foods: where we plant things). To share their farming practices, they started a YouTube Channel, Ukwakhwa (our foods), focused on planting, growing, harvesting, seed keeping, food preparation, and food storage, as well as making traditional tools and crafts. In 2021, the family formed a nonprofit organization, Ukwakhwa, Inc., to advance their goals of helping share knowledge.
Kellie Zahn
Kellie Zahn is the agriculture agent at the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, located in Bowler, Wisconsin, where she manages four community gardens totaling over two acres of growing space. The tribe started the Agriculture Department in 2016, and Kellie has served as the agriculture agent since that time. Kellie earned a degree in agricultural business from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and is a certified crop advisor.