Presenters, Bios, & Presentation Abstracts

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Nathan WrightNathan Wright (aka Spiritman from the Sun) is a Citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and the owner of Herbal Lodge. Wright combines both Indigenous and conventional herbal knowledge into his products. Wright has diverse experiences not only as an Indigenous Herbalist but also in developing innovative methods for his business. He served in the military and is also an Indigenous and Environmental activist. Wright is also a certified mycologist. He shares his knowledge as an educator focusing on plants used in Anishinabek healing and emphasizing traditional sustainable practices. He makes himself available for herbal and Indigenous presentations, both online and in person. By his beliefs to honor the plants and trees, Wright is also a Water Protector and was at Standing Rock on the front line when the dogs attacked in 2016. The experience changed him in 2019, Wright founded MackinawOde, a collective group that addresses Indigenous and Environmental concerns and has garnered national attention. He has been featured in various media outlets, Water Protector music videos, and a documentary. Wright likes to say, “I used to be a Marine who fought for a country, now I am a Water Protector fighting for Mother Earth.”.Indigenous Herbal Teas of the Great Lakes Anishinabek Herbalism and tea making is an ancient practice of the Great Lakes Area that have been used for centuries to maintain health and well-being. Anishinabek means the original people. This workshop will teach you about at least ten different types of unique Indigenous teas (leaves, flowers bark, roots), their original Anishinabek names and medicinal properties, and other uses. These are unique Forest teas presented by the original peoples of the Great Lakes
Clemen DabneyClemon Dabney III earned a PhD at the University of Minnesota where he studied cannabinoid and terpene genetics in cannabis. Clemon has a M.S. from University of MN in Plant Breeding and Molecular Genetics. Clemon is also CEO of Doctor Dabs which is MN based hemp companies that specialize in hemp derived edible manufacturing and also works as the Chief Science Officer for a local hemp company Uniflora Holistics. Clemon has worked on a variety of cannabis projects while at the University of MN such as the MN Department of Agriculture’s grain variety trial, MN feral cannabis breeding, UMN/Sunrise Genetics cannabis genome project, and worked on fiber hemp production study with the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate in North Dakota.Making Your Own Cannabis-Based Medicine This seminar will discuss the history of cannabis and what makes cannabis unique, what the major and minor cannabinoids commonly used in hemp and adult-use cannabis products are and the forms used in product formulation(isolate, distillate, crude extracts). We will review the medicinal benefits of CBD, CBDV, CBG, CBC, CBN,d9THC,&THCV, what dosages are commonly used and the purported medicinal benefits produced by each cannabinoid, as well as the differences between acid and neutral forms of cannabinoids (CBDAvsCBD).We will cover what terpenes are, how they are used in various hemp and adult-use cannabis products, and how consuming more than one cannabinoid and/or terpene creates a synergistic effect known as the entourage effect. We will examine the common formula for hemp product categories and the lab testing used when making these products for sale
Jake Dornseif & Betty SorensonFarm Service Agency
Allissa Stutte, Shea Schachameyer, Kat Rakowski, & Lindsay LarsonThis topic will be presented by two representatives of the Mino Bimaadiziiwin Tribal Farm and two representatives of the Bayfield School District. From Red Cliff, Allissa Stutte is the Farm Manager/Food Systems Coordinator and Shea Schachameyer is the Food Sovereignty Coordinator. From Bayfield School District, Kat Rakowski is the Agriculture & Education Coordinator and Lindsay Larson is the Farm-to-School Specialist. – Mino Bimaadiziiwin Tribal Farm is the Tribal Farm for the Red Cliff Band. The Bayfield School District is the local school district at which 80% of students are Red Cliff Tribal members.Mino Bimaadiziiwin Tribal Farm (Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa) and Bayfield School District Gaa-Miskwaabikaang (Place of the Red Cliffs / Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa), is located on Lake Superior where hunting, fishing, and gathering is central to Anishinaabe food systems, food sovereignty, and cultural traditions. As such, the Mino Bimaadiziiwin (The Good Life) Tribal Farm and the School District of Bayfield work together, along with other Tribal programs, to create hands-on opportunities throughout the year for youth to connect to the land, their culture, and build their leadership and pride as Indigenous youth. This presentation will discuss the ongoing collaborations between the Tribal Farm and the School including the annual iskigamizigan (sugarbush), produce distribution, field trips, traditional harvesting, and more.
Samantha BoscoSamantha Bosco studies how people’s culture, social networks, and history influence their interest in agroforestry. Currently, she is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducting qualitative studies about agroforestry adoption in the upper Midwest, and works with the Savanna Institute to co-chair the Agroforestry Coalition’s Demonstration Site working group. Prior to this, she was a fellow at the National Agroforestry Center and received her PhD from Cornell University studying the past, present, and future importance of nut trees in Haudenosaunee food sovereignty and amongst non-native “climate-smart’ farmers.The Skarù·ręʔ (Tuscarora) Food Forest was a community-based project demonstrating contemporary contributions of nut trees to Indigenous food systems in ancestral Haudenosaunee territories, today known as New York State. While domesticated crop polycultures (i.e., the Three Sisters) are iconic of Haudenosaunee horticultural ingenuities, temperate nuts are lesser-known woodland foods that can additionally contribute to food and language revitalization efforts within contemporary Haudenosaunee territories. Here we discuss theories and praxes informing community engaged approaches at the Skarù·ręʔ Nation. By addressing social justice concerns within agricultural science, we demonstrate how the Skarù·ręʔ Food Forest Project can provide a methodological testing ground for reconciliation-based and decolonial participatory action research that expands ongoing food sovereignty, community health, and education initiatives.
Sheree Waitoa, Chrystal O’Connor, & Hiraina TangioreFor over 25 years Sheree has been a key community driver, working behind the scenes for the sustainability Mātauranga Māori | Māori Knowledge. From language revitalization using creative mediums like Māori radio and Māori TV / Film / Theatre. Her skills are now utilised within Aotearoa’s land based university Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki | Lincoln University for the last 3 years. Mātauranga Māori is Indigenous Science, it is culture, it is essential to the survival of what we know as the ecosystem. Sheree is currently the Director of Māori & Pasifika for the Office of Māori Development at Lincoln University.Whatu Ngarongaro te tangata, toitu te whenua | Humans come and go, but land remains. This proverb is a reminder that humans can perish at any time but the land will continue to provide given that we look after it for the next generation.Presenter Proposal Abstract: Chrystal Te Ohorere O’Connor1,2 1 Ngāti Hauā (Tainui), Ngāti Paoa (Hauraki), 2Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, Canterbury, New Zealand. Mahinga kai in Aotearoa New Zealand: Adding value through indigenous knowledge and native medicinal plants. Mahinga kai in Te Reo Māori (the Māori language) translates ‘to work the food’ and relates to the traditional value of food resources from producing, obtaining, and protecting these resources, as well as their ecosystems. Te Ao Māori (the Māori worldview) of mahinga kai also encompasses spiritual connection and whakapapa (genealogy) to everything associated with food. My proposed presentation will showcase indigenous Māori farming by giving an overview of the different sources of mahinga kai in Aotearoa New Zealand – past and present. Emphasising the integration of indigenous knowledge with Western science, my case study on the potential of edible insects as a sustainable protein source amongst global challenges like climate change and population growth. I will discuss mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) from a recent survey asking Māori which plants, vegetables and rākau rongoā (medicinal plants) are significant to them, and some of their current uses today. I will also explain the significant role that insects play in Māori culture as food, medicine, and cultural narratives. Finally, I’ll discuss how revitalising potential future food sources like insects benefits from indigenous knowledge and the care that should be taken when integrating it into Western science. Case for attending: The White Earth land recovery conference has been held for the last 20 years, it presents an opportunity for small farmers, educators, and researchers to connect and share indigenous knowledge on farming. By attending, I aim to learn from the experiences of indigenous groups, fostering a deeper understanding of their agricultural methods and identify parallels with Māori. Lasting relationships are built kanohi ki te kanohi (face-to-face) and are important for Iwi Māori and Iwi taketake (indigenous communities) worldwide. The participation of staff members from the Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce and Te Manutaki further reinforces the importance of these relationships, and fosters stronger, sustainable ties within Lincoln University. This platform presents a rare opportunity to engage directly with indigenous communities, exchange knowledge, and contribute to a collective dialogue aimed at sustainable and culturally vibrant agricultural practices. Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki is the only university to have been invited outside of North America.
Walter Goldstein GoldsteinWalter Goldstein is originally from the Pacific Northwest. He studied biodynamic and organic farming from 1976 to 1980 in Switzerland, England, and Sweden. He was helped by very good mentors. He received his MSc and PhD in Agronomy at Washington State University in the USA, studying alternative farming systems for the Palouse region. That study compared conventional, organic, and biodynamic practices. Thereafter, he has lived for 37 years in southern Wisconsin. He served as Research Director at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in Wisconsin for 25 years. In 2011 he founded the Mandaamin Institute ( with friends. He has selected and bred corn for organic/biodynamic farmers since 1989. He presently breeds and tests corn in Wisconsin on his farm and with co-workers and other biodynamic and organic farmers. His focus is on partnership breeding with corn and its partnership bacteria. Working this way results in nutritional density, nitrogen efficiency and nitrogen fixation abilities. Interests are on better understanding and working with that kind of co-evolution, and ways to help others select better fit plants for a changing world.Working in partnership with corn and its microbial allies. I would like to do a workshop with you focusing on corn. It would be great if people could be invited ahead of time to bring their corn to show and to talk about it. Attitude is an important factor in working with corn. It would be good to share perspectives on that too. Corn has both spiritual and physical sides to work with. In addition, I would also like to give a presentation on what I have learned working first with corn at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (23 years) and then at the Mandaamin Institute (12 years). My work has been oriented towards a partnership approach towards breeding and learning from this incredible, creative plant. The objective has been to work with that creative side, enabling corn and humans to develop new corn varieties that are needed by people and their animals now and for the future. We have selected from a lot of crosses with ancient indigenous corn and commercial corn to regain and improve the nutritional quality that has been lost in commercial corn. As we developed corn under conditions where we did not fertilize we found that the corn regained partnerships with bacteria that helped it to thrive. These bacteria live inside all the different parts of the plant and provide it with services such as mineral uptake, nitrogen fixation, and nutritional value. The bacteria are put into the pollen and embryos so they can be inherited by the next generation of seeds. Commercial corn is weakened in this regards and indigenous varieties may also have lost strong partnerships with bacteria. We find that every plant we select shows us this partnership and we learn to read the plants and to help select them for great partnerships. Eagle corn is a very special corn possessed by different people (Hopi, Navajo, Pawnee, Cherokee, and possibly others). It is a ceremonial corn. I was gifted Eagle corn many years ago and worked with it. However, after a time I realized that I should cease that work and gave the seed in its new form to Carl Barnes (aka White Eagle) and others. But after many years of not working with Eagle corn, it seemed to emerge into many of my white and blue corn varieties last year. I am amazed and have begun to try to multiply those seeds and give them to people who have the need to have a spiritual relationship with corn for our common good
Kaylee CarnahanKaylee has over a decade of experience working in local food systems. Carrying knowledge around ecological-based agriculture practices, wild tending, seed keeping, local food sovereignty, gardening, beekeeping, herbalism, foraging, food preservation, and native pollinators. She is currently the caretaker for the IEN Teaching Garden located at the Railriver Folk School in Bemidji, MN. The garden is an Indigenous-led demonstration Garden with a focus on community education, pollinator health and food sovereignty. On the homelands of the Anishinaabe people, we use language, art, and land-based skills to grow a deeper connection with Nimaamaa-aki (Mother Earth) and all our relatives.Indigenous Environmental Network Teaching Garden Kaylee will be speaking and presenting about the IEN Teaching Garden. An Indigenous led community demonstration garden surrounding the community hub called Rail River Folk School, located in Bemidji, MN. The garden brings beauty, food and habitat for the community and local wildlife. The focus of this space is to be a pollinator/wildlife habitat and a demonstration garden for the local community. We work to offer examples of what urban spaces can look like amid an Indigenous Just Transition. Food sovereignty and culturally important plants are extremely important to us here in the garden. Using techniques like Indigenous Agricultural Practices, Wild Tending, Permaculture and Urban Farming we can do the work of healing the land that has been abused by big industry. The presentation will highlight some of the garden’s projects and successes as an urban farm built on industrially abused land. As we walk through the seasons in the garden, we will start out by talking about healing the soil and our community compost program. Then we will move into discussion about our current and future food sovereignty projects. As we move along, we will talk about how we support pollinators and wildlife and how they help support us back. Including updates on our new Slovenian Bee House. As the season begins to wind down, we’ll talk about the importance of seed keeping for diversity and food sovereignty. We will be showcasing our seed bank and how to access seed from us. We will also have seed to offer. And lastly, we will highlight the “teaching” aspect of our garden through workshops and interactive garden exhibits
Erik HeimarkErik Heimark is the Specialty Crops Farm Business Management (FBM) Instructor at Central Lakes College. He came from teaching High School Agriculture and has owned and operated Maple Ridge Produce, a 5 acre produce farm, for the last 8 years with his husband Jay Rigdon. Before teaching he managed Gilby’s Orchard and worked as a naturalist for a local nature center. He loves food, cooking, entertaining guests, baking, hunting and preserving the harvest.
Jake Dornseif & Betty SorensonJake and Betty serve the region though the Farm Service AgencyFarm Service Agency – Tribal Opportunites
Joe Morales, Mary Hammes, David AbazsJoe Morales is half Yaqui and half German. For the last 42 years he has been a boots-on-the-ground organizer mostly organizing in resistance to extractive industry. Over the years Joe has advocated for and worked to uplift the voices of Indigenous, BIPOC and Marginalized communities. He is a skilled facilitator and conflict-resolution mediator. From 2001 to 2010 Joe started and ran Dreaming-Elk farm, a small chicken and egg operation in southern Minnesota.He is currently the Deputy Director and Indigenous Action Research Director at Rainbow Research, a research and evaluation non-profit that has developed a reputation for engaging in participatory, systems-oriented research and evaluation with a strong, consistent focus on social justice through a decolonizing framework.“We must first be connected to the land, Maka Ina, before we can understand the urgency with which we need to save her. Without that spiritual connection, the connection to the land, the traditional ecological knowledge we cannot truly even begin to understand how to help her. Maka Ina provides all that we need to live a good life and teaches us how to live WITH the land rather than ON the land, being connected to Taku Skan instead of moving against it. It is time for us to listen to Maka Ina. It is time to not only let our feet touch the earth but to feel the roots that connect us to her. Sustainable is not enough, what is it we are trying to sustain anyway? Instead, we need to look seven generations into the future and know that we will be leaving a safe, healthy Mother to them. Mitatuye Oyasin” Joe Morales. Joe Currently lives in Bemidji, Minnesota with his Partner and son.Minnesota Million Presentation Proposal “Large-scale reforestation across Minnesota has the potential to enhance the resilience of communities, watersheds and working lands—providing benefits including carbon sequestration, water quality, water supply, clean air, habitat, economic opportunity and improving community resilience to extreme events such as intense rainfall and heatwaves. Minnesota Million has a nonlinear origin story. Planting trees as a natural solution to biodiversity loss, climate change, and decreased life-sustaining resources is as old as the hills. A consolidated effort to apply this practice to bold scale in MN began to take shape around 2020, evolving into the ambitious movement we’re supporting today. “Minnesota Million” has grown into a broad and still-growing coalition of partners working to reforest a million acres of Minnesota by 2045.” We will be discussing the economic opportunities associated with this ambitious project. Including seed collection training and support, nursery startup funding and planting opportunities particularly for Indigenous, Emerging and BIPOC farmers
Unchatwa StoddardUnchatwa is a medicine carrier whose maternal lineage is Dutch, German and Russian descent and his paternal lineage is Irish, English and Mohican. His day jobs have spanned dairy farming, cooking, auto mechanics, and network engineering. He is also a lifelong marƟal arƟst.Unchatwa was iniƟated into the healing world at the age of 26. He spent the next 25 years on his Unchatwa was iniƟated into the healing world at the age of 26. He spent the next 25 years on his own healing journey from addiction, severe childhood trauma and mental illness. During those years there were significant spiritual influences and events including in 1994 when he had a healing vision where he received his name from his great-great uncle. That vision led to his iniƟaƟon to carry medicine through a death ceremony. In 2009 he met his Buddhist friend and teacher Yoonok Kim who taught him about healing through working with the soil and the ancestors in what she called the Happy Universal Garden. He also studied Non‐violent CommunicaƟons and DialecƟc behavior Therapy which were personally transformational and he has incorporated those practices into his healing work. In 2010 he read the book Seven Herbs Plants as Teachers by his friend and mentor MaƩhew Wood and he was catapulted into an 8-year journey of inƟmacy with his new friends Easter Lily, Yerba Santa, Iris, Sagebrush, Cat’s Ear, Black Cohosh and Lady’s Slipper. That work was instrumental in his development, understanding, and co‐creaƟon of a cornflower essence which he has carried as personal medicine since the super full moon full lunar eclipse in September 2015. Additionally, Unchatwa has been collaboraƟng on revitalizaƟon of the Mohican language for more than a decade.Unchatwa was blessed in October 2019 by the corn mother with the dream which detailed her Unchatwa was blessed in October 2019 by the corn mother with the dream which detailed her and the ceremonies he was tasked to bring forward. His life’s work is carrying the corn mothers vision for healing forward. Along the way he has had the opportunity to hold ceremonies and help others on their healing journeys.GLIFC 2024 Abstract for Unchatwa Stoddard – Issue: IntergeneraƟonal trauma in the people and the land and the role of the corn mother in healing. DescripƟon and methodology: All beings on this planet have participated in both sides of the inter‐generaƟonal trauma as both traumaƟzer and traumaƟzed. Hurt people hurt people. While humans have been traumaƟzing each other and all our relaƟons, it is corn perhaps that has been colonized and traumaƟzed the most. And it is corn who is showing up and presenƟng us a path toward healing. On October 30, 2019, Corn Mother (Skamoon Ngok) came to me in my dream Ɵme (no’onokwa’am) and this ceremony (we’kaawãakan) began. Corn Mother told me she has good medicine (mbeethoon), to heal inter‐generaƟonal trauma in all our relaƟons. She told me she has been stalking me my entire life in preparaƟon for the ceremony so that she may provide this good medicine to the people and the earth. She told me the ceremony would begin at Schodack Island NY, the place of the Mohican people’s central council fire for millennia. Then the ceremony would be repeated at Stockbridge MA and then again at North Hampton MA. She showed me many intersecƟons in my life where she had been stalking me and brought me good medicine since I was a little boy. Major findings: Many teachers, allies, and practices have come forward since the dream including Walter Goldstein, a new friend, mentor, and sacred corn breeder who is instrumental in the development and practice of the ceremony. Walter has submiƩed a proposal for this conference.The corn mother song (skamoon ngok naxko’maawãakan) lost to our people for generaƟons and is central to honoring the corn mother and the healing ceremony.The Corn Grandmothers Council (skamoon ngok naxko’maawaakan), maybe the first in hundreds of years dedicated to the healing power of corn for the earth mother and her children. Forgiveness as practice, not just words, extended in all directions to the last seven generations and the next seven generations. Conclusion: It is through this ceremony and restoration of Mother Corn to her sacred place in the hearts and homes of the two-legged that this healing continues. When we bury what we carry (the inter-generational trauma) in the earth mother with our corn seeds in the way she has shown, with ceremony, she will transform that trauma. It is my hope and belief that the healing of this ceremony will spread in a sacred spiral like a pebble in a pond surrounding our earth mother as our corn mother in a good way comes here with good medicine. The first ceremony was conducted on May 18, 2023, as instructed at the Schodack Island State Park in New York.
Esther AmesEsther Ames is an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibway and a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in tribal governance with three years of specialized experience in the development of tribal cannabis and hemp businesses, including regulatory compliance. Esther is adept at fostering strong community relationships, driving strategic initiatives, and helping others with navigating complex regulatory landscapes. Over the years Esther has successfully coordinated renewable energy and construction training projects, with an emphasis on tribal workforce development, but is now focusing full time on researching hemp and cannabis market strategies for tribal farmers in MinnesotaHigh Stakes navigating the monopoly phase of Minnesota’s recreational Cannabis Market: Legal Cannabis cultivation and sales are some of the most financially, legally, and scierntifically complex endeavors that a tribe or tribal entrepremeur could take on. The health and economic benefits of legal cannabis compels more people from all walks of life to enter into this high growth, emerging, technically federallu\y illegal, but never boring industry. Entering legal cannabis-during their infancy gives tribes and tribal entrepreneurs a distinct opportunity to set market floors, establih their brands before state licensed competitors comes online, and offeres a significant return on initial investment.
George Weiblen HempProfessor George Weiblen is the Science Director of the Bell Museum at the University of Minnesota and he teaches botany in the College of Biological
Sciences. He graduated from Minneapolis South High School in 1988, earned his bachelor’s from Reed College in 1992, and his PhD from Harvard University in 1999. He operated the first research laboratory in the United States approved for Cannabis genetics by the Drug Enforcement Administration. He has studied and planted hemp on behalf of Indigenous farmers for seven seasons since 2017. His current interests include
protecting native sovereign genetic resources derived from “ditch weed”.
Cultivating Hemp Research with Indigenous Collaborators – Back in 2002, my laboratory at the University of Minnesota started investigating the genetics of THC and CBD in hemp and marijuana. Hemp advocates complained when we proposed to genetically engineer a new type of drug-free Cannabis in 2008. We listened and adapted our research to study “ditch weed” using traditional breeding methods. Our aim has been to develop hemp that can adapt to our changing climate and serve the new emerging bioeconomy. Planting and studying hemp in Minnesota and the Dakotas during the past seven seasons, we have collaborated with a native sovereign nation and an independent Indigenous hemp farm. This presentation will describe what we have learned so far at the intersection of university, government, industry, and Indigenous perspectives.
Amookwe Amy McCoyAmookwe Amy McCoy is the Anishnaabe Science and food sovereignty Educator, Bay Mills CollegeEastern Upper Michigan Sustainable Agriculture Curriculum Initiative, A SARE Project
Jerry Lee Chilton, Don Wedll, & Breon LakeDon Wedll been a principal investigator and collaborator for Winona’s Hemp and Anishinaabe Agriculture in the development of the fiber hemp program, including the bag completed for Patagonia.
Jerry Lee Chilton is the Executive Director of Anishinaabe Agriculture and has been growing and harvesting hemp for Anishinaabe Agriculture and is now a lead in the value-added processing of hemp.
Breon Lake is a Sisseton farmer who has successfully planted and harvested l00 acres of fiber hemp on the Sisseton reservation and is working with the others on the development of the coopertive.
Fiber Hemp- The New Green Revolution- Jerry Lee Chilton, Breon Lake, Don Wedll Fiber hemp can transform the materials economy, sequester carbon and bioremediate soil as well as be the foundation for textiles, green building materials, protecting forests and creating sustainable housing for future generations. Don Wedll, Jerry Lee Chilton and Breon Lake are three of the successful growers who have studied the way of the hemp. Anishinaabe Agriculture and Winona’s Hemp have been growing fiber hemp varieties for eight years under federal and state contracts. We will discuss soil and nutrients needs, what varieties are best for the north country, Indigenous seed security, what have we learned from growing hemp for these years. Then we will present on how do you harvest this hemp and choices in value added processing. These are questions which Anishinaabe and Dakota farmers have been tackling and will now share knowledge on what we’ve learned. In addition to growing hemp, we will discuss harvesting technology, processing techniques and how Anishinaabe Agriculture and Winona’s Hemp produced a workbag with Patagonia, and put up hemp housing using fiber hemp. We will also discuss the need for sharing knowledge, technology and securing seed sovereignty for the future. We see an exponential and essential growth in the fiber hemp economy, as a part of an integrated crop rotation, and see that we will need hundreds of thousands of acres of fiber hemp in the upcoming decade to address carbon emissions and green building needs. That’s why we formed the Indigenous Hemp and Cannabis Farmers Cooperative. Sharing what we learned is how we will be able to make a better future for all of our children.
Danny DesjarlaisDanny Desjarlais is a dedicated and experienced Natural Builder with a passion for sustainable construction methods and a commitment to creating eco-friendly structures for our community members to call home. Danny graduated from Minnesota West Community and Technical Colleg in 2021 and is currently the Project Manager of the Lower Sioux Industrial Hemp Construction Project Manager.Building with Hemp in a tribal community
Brandon Baity
MultiCultural Food and ecology Youth Initiative
Bonnetta Adeeb, Sikowis Nobiss, Tanya Redroad & Zoe HollomanSikowis Nobiss (she/her) is Nêhiyaw/Saulteaux of the George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She is the founder and Executive Director of Great Plains Action Society and is an organizer, speaker, writer and an artist. She believes that land defense and social justice work are inextricably linked and change will only happen when we dismantle corrupt colonial-capitalist systems and rebuild them with a decolonized worldview. She fights for a better future for her two young children.
Sikowis has a Masters Degree in Religious Studies and Graduate Minor in Native Studies from the University of Iowa. While there, she sat on many diversity and climate committees and was also the Chair of the U of I Native American Student Association. In 2021 she received the Impact Through Advocacy award from the Iowa Environmental Council. In June 2022, her dedication to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community earned GPAS the OneIowa Community Partnership Award. In March 2023, her work earned Great Plains Action Society recognition for being a women-led organization doing excellent work in the realm of sustainability from the Johnson County United Nations Association Chapter. Sikowis is also a commissioner on the Iowa City Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She also sat on the Midwest Environmental Justice Grant Advisory Committee, the Centering Equity in the Sustainable Building Sector Governance Team and the Microsoft Just Transition Power Force as a guest expert working to reduce harmful practices in corporate procurement processes. 
Bonnetta Adeeb is a proud grandmother, farmer and retired Science teacher. She has a passion for seed regeneration and working with farmers and cultivators of color to preserve cultural foods and traditions. She is the founder & President of STEAM ONWARD, Inc. in Southern Maryland and co-leads the Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance (UFCA) and Ujamaa Seeds. UFCA works with gardeners & farmers in the Midwest and across the country to increase cultural diversity in agriculture and diversity in seeds, through community-based seed hubs. UFCA offers technical trainings, seed storytelling, resources and support to its partners and their communities. 
Zoe Hollomon is a multi-racial black, queer, activist and abolitionist. She is the eldest of 3 siblings and comes from a long line of freedom fighters. Zoe was born in Duluth but grew up mainly in NY (Buffalo and NYC). Zoe has over 20 years experience organizing with grassroots organizations on the east coast and Midwest and building grassroots efforts in food, farming and environmental related policy. Zoe is a founding member of Rootsprings Farm & Retreat Cooperative in MN, which produces fruit and serves as a place for healing and retreat for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ people and organizations.  Zoe is a co-founder and Executive Director of the Midwest Farmers of Color Collective, a network of BIPOC farmers and gardeners working for racial equity and food sovereignty in MN and the Midwest.  She is humbled and amazed by the ingenuity, courage and wisdom of the farmers and healers of color she works with.
Zoe Hollomon serves on the Union of Concerned Scientists Transformational Farm Bill Advisory Committee, with other partner organizations fighting for a just transition of our food and agricultural systems. She co-leads the Food Injustice Timeline Project, a 500 year political education timeline documenting oppressive policies and grassroots resistance movements around food, land, culture, health and race.  Zoe is a visual artist and proud member of the Subversive Sirens, a MN based Synchronized Swimming team committed to black liberation, equity in aquatics, queer visibility and radical body acceptance. Zoe received her B.S. in Urban & Regional Planning from Cornell University in 2001 and an M.S. from Southern New Hampshire University in Community Economic Development in 2007. 
Indigenous and Black Environmental Justice Power House Panel – 4 to 6 women that make up the work done on the plains and woodlands area. The goal of this panel is to highlight each panelist’s area of expertise and to share their where and why. .
Winona LaDukeWinona LaDuke, a Native American activist, economist, and author, has devoted her life to advocating for Indigenous control of their homelands, natural resources, and cultural practices. She combines economic and environmental approaches in her efforts to create a thriving and sustainable community for her own White Earth reservation and Indigenous populations across the country.
Scott Demuth, Nick Olson, & Amy BacigalupoReeact/Adapt/Transform: Approaching climate change using a holistic approach centering, the land, the growers, the community and the ecosystem. Climate change is making growing and foraging our food more unpredictable and challenging. Creating and adopting holistic strategies for making our food production and distribution more resilient in the face of a changing climate is critical and urgent. This session will explore several climate/weather trends for our region and some of the corresponding implications for our current food production practices. Additionally we will explore several resiliency strategies and adaptations that growers and communities can consider while addressing their own resilience. We will hear from growers from Dream of Wild Health on how they created a climate resiliency plan for their farm, their land and their growers. .