Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project

Valerie Segrest

University of Washington / Muckleshoot

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"According to the First Nations Development Institute, food sovereignty is defined as 'the inherent right of a community to identify their own food system.' This means that as a community we have the power to choose the food on our table."

Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot), NMAI Interview, August 2016
Roots, berries, elk, and salmon were at the center of traditional food cloture for the Coast Salish people of the Pacific Northwest. During colonization these foods were replaced with a diet of a modern and dominant culture. Today, tribal communities are faced with degenerative diseases like diabetes and heart disease as a result of this superimposition. Despite this disruption, a  movement is rippling throughout Indian Country. Tribes are mobilizing by employing concepts of food sovereignty and reclaiming their food systems in order to collectively focus animating a culture of health for future generations. Valerie Segrest shares her experiences connecting her students to traditional foods and plant medicine that nurture our bodies and our revolutionary spirits.
The Winter, 2019 Huxley Speaker Series is co-sponsored by Huxley College of the Environment and WWU's Salish Sea Institute, presenting a 10-week series on issues facing the Salish Sea.
Valerie Seagrest

Valerie Segrest is a native nutrition educator who specializes in local and traditional foods. As an enrolled member of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, she serves her community as the coordinator of Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project and also works as the Traditional Foods and Medicines Program Manager. In 2010 she co-authored the book Feeding the People, Feeding the Spirit: Revitalizing Northwest Coastal Indian Food Culture. She is a Kellogg Fellow at the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy. Valerie inspires and enlightens others about the importance of a nutrient-dense diet through a simple, common-sense approach to eating. 

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