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Intertribal Agriculture Council seeks youth essay applicants

Intertribal Agriculture Council seeks youth essay applicants

The Intertribal Agriculture Council is accepting essay applications for its 2017 Youth Essay Contest. Essays will be judged on organization of information, spelling and punctuation, quality of grammar and quality of entry. Three finalists will be chosen and honored during the IAC Annual Meeting and Youth Alliance Conference.

Essay Topic:

The next generation of Indian Agriculture will be at the forefront of meeting America’s demand for food security. Our young leaders have been filling crucial roles at home, producing the food that feeds our communities. Now, Indian Country relies on our youth to carry our message farther than ever before. Ensuring a Native voice is heard in the 2018 Farm Bill is a critical concern for the Intertribal Agriculture Council, and we need your help in doing so.

What does my community need in the Farm Bill?

How does the Farm Bill impact Indian Agriculture?

What programs in my community are impacted by the Farm Bill?

How will I take an active role in ensuring my community is represented by the 2018 Farm Bill?

What are two steps my chaperone* and I must take to ensure we effectively reach this active role in our community?

*Designated chaperones awarded a travel scholarship are required to attend all IAC Membership Meeting sessions, December 11-14, 2017.


RESOURCES: An Assessment of Risks and Opportunities for Native Communities in the Farm Bill can be found on the website:

REGISTRATION FEE: Includes all sessions, workshops & the luncheon to be held Tuesday afternoon. For additional information on the registration fees see the registration form.

PROCEDURE: Complete the registration form and return with payment to: Intertribal Agriculture Council 100 North 27th Street, Suite #500 Billings, MT 59101 No purchase orders PLEASE! (Methods of payments accepted: cash, check or credit card; Am. Express, Master Card or Visa)

HOTEL: Address: 4455 PARADISE ROAD | LAS VEGAS, NV | 89169 RESERVATIONS: 1.800.473.7625 (Cancellation Policy is 72 hours) To receive special rate of $85.00 + tax, Please refer to code: SIACM7 when Calling for reservations. Reservation deadline to receive this special rate is: NOVEMBER 17, 2017 -based on availability.

TRANSPORTATION: Las Vegas McCarran International Airport is served directly by shuttle, bus, and taxi (http:// Public transportation is also available for travel both to and from the airport.


CANCELLATION: Request for cancellation must be in writing to IAC and received before November 17, 2017. All cancellations are subject to a $75.00 processing fee. No refunds will be made for cancellations after November 17, 2017. Room reservations must be canceled directly through the Hard Rock Hotel.

The Hard Rock Hotel Room Reservation Code is: SIACM7 Phone: 1-800-473-7625 ONLINE RESERVATIONS CAN BE MADE AT :

2017 IAC is exempt from the hotel early check in fee, but does not guarantee rooms will be available prior to 4pm.


Seneca Nation awarded RWJF Culture of Health Prize Winner

Seneca Nation awarded RWJF Culture of Health Prize Winner

The Seneca Nation of Indians was recently awarded a 2017 Robert Wood Johnson foundation Culture of Health Prize Winner.

Please visit the website to read their story, watch the video and see the photo slideshow of their impressive efforts to use culture to heal, language and food traditions to foster wellness, and compassion and culture as restorative medicine.

IAC Youth Ambassadors attend Cattlemen’s Association forum

IAC Youth Ambassadors attend Cattlemen’s Association forum

By Zachary Ilbery, IAC Intern

Recently six Intertribal Agriculture Council Youth Ambassadors had the opportunity to travel to Billings, Montana, to attend the National US Cattlemen’s Association Producer Forum where they were a part of panel discussions about risk management and trade under the new presidential administration.

They also learned about sustainable antibiotic use in livestock, conservation practices and what retailers like to see. The youth had the opportunity to meet and and talk with individuals within the agriculture industry such as Kevin Hueser, the Senior Vice President – Beef Margin Management for Tyson Foods.

The youth participants also learned about new policy taking place at the Capitol and heard from US Senate and House of Representative members about legislation affecting the cattle industry.


Pictured from left: US Cattlemen’s Association President Kenny Graner, Ellise David, Sophia Keesie, Sequoyah Osbourne, Nicholas Naranjo, Zachary Ilbery, Senior Policy Advisor for the US Cattlemen’s Association Jess Peterson.


Consultation on USDA reorganization set for NCAI

Consultation on U.S. Department of Agriculture Reorganization
National Congress of American Indians
Annual Convention and Marketplace
October 19, 2017 (6 pm CT)

Wisconsin Center, Room 103D/E
400 W Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53203

In May 2017, Agriculture Secretary Perdue announced a reorganization of key agencies in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to make “USDA the most effective, efficient, and best managed department in the U.S. government.” Since the National Congress of American Indians passed a resolution requesting consultation on this reorganization, USDA continues seeking ways to enhance customer service and maximize efficiency by aligning offices and agencies with similar missions. USDA will be holding a consultation regarding both phases of this reorganization and its implications on Indian Country.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the USDA Office of Tribal Relations by phone at (202) 205-2249, or by e-mail at


Friends of IFAI present at First Americans and New Americans panel

Friends of IFAI present at First Americans and New Americans panel


Panelists, from right, Arcenio Lopez, Chairman John Berrey, Jodi Gillette and Dolores Huerta, discuss economic and environmental justice at the First Americans and New Americans convening held at the Kennedy Center.

IFAI supporters John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, and Jodi Gillette, policy advisor for Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry LLP, spoke at the First Americans and New Americans gathering on Sept. 14 held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Their panel, Advancing Our Shared Issues and Common Cause: Interdependency for Collaborative Frameworks, explored the interrelated issues of economic justice, environmental justice, and food systems and food sovereignty. The session examined interdependencies and how they can drive more powerful collaborative frameworks for action and policy.

The historic event was called to create a forward-looking convening of nationally recognized Native nation and Immigrant leaders at a pivotal time for the communities they represent. Each group contends with dominant false narratives and the destructive laws and policies borne of those narratives. The gathering encouraged these communities to learn from one another, explore opportunities for joint action, and discuss how to reshape the “American” identity to include the histories and present contributions of First Americans and New Americans.

Attendees were asked to recognize the urgency of our current political climate and the need to develop visionary, self-determined solutions. Attendees addressed shared challenges to advance a common purpose in vital areas such as civil rights, economic and environmental justice, and food systems and food sovereignty – all through a lens of culture, identity, and citizenship.



Forging Shared Narratives around Culture, Identity, and Citizenship


The National Congress of American Indians and Define American welcome Native nation and Immigrant leaders to participate in an historic conversation.


Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Cultural Performance & Leadership Reception:  6:00 – 9:00 PM EDT

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Convening:  9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,
2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566



Thursday, September 14

6:00             p.m.    Joint Cultural Performances at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage

  • Dark Water Rising
  • Combo Chimbita

7:00 p.m.    Leadership Reception

  • Meet & Greet
  • Art Showcase

8:00 p.m.    Arts and Culture: A National Conversation around Shared Strengths

  • Kevin Gover (Pawnee), Director, National Museum of the American Indian
  • Erika Andiola, Co-Founder of DREAM Action Coalition, Political Director of Our Revolution


Friday, September 15

MORNING SESSION: Building Collective Understandings of Our Shared Challenges

8:30 a.m.       Registration and Networking

9:00 a.m.       Welcome and Opening Prayer

  • Brian Cladoosby (Swinomish), President, National Congress of American Indians

9:10 a.m.       Spoken Word Poet

  • Nicholas Courtney (Makah and Modoc)

9:15 a.m.       Converging Narratives: Righting Our Past and Present through Story

Nationally recognized voices will share their unique and converging experiences regarding their work to reshape the “American” identity to raise up the vibrant histories and present contributions of First Americans and New Americans.

  • José Antonio Vargas, CEO, Define American (moderator)
  • Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Deputy Vice President, UnidosUS
  • Jacqueline Pata (Raven/Sockeye Clan of Tlingit Tribe), Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians

10:00 a.m.     Break – Networking

10:10 a.m.     Advancing Our Shared Issues and Common Cause: Interdependency for Collaborative Frameworks

Exploring the interrelated issues of economic justice, environmental justice, and food systems and food sovereignty, this session will examine our interdependencies and how they can drive more powerful collaborative frameworks for action and policy.

  • Maria Hinojosa, Anchor/Executive Producer, Latino USA, NPR (moderator)
  • John Berrey, Chairman, Business Committee, Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Jodi Gillette (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota), Policy Advisor, Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP
  • Dolores Huerta, Civil Rights Activist, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers of America
  • Arcenio Lopez, Executive Director, Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project

11:15 a.m.    Q&A Session

11:35 a.m.    Framing the Afternoon’s Breakout Discussions and Collaborative Framework

This overview will set the framework for the afternoon’s breakout group discussions, which will delve into the some of the most pressing and cross-cutting issues facing Tribal and Immigrant communities today through the lens of identity, culture, and citizenship.

  • Ryan Eller, Executive Director, Define American: Introduce topics and topic leaders
  • Citizenship and Human Rights: José Antonio Vargas, CEO, Define American
  • Economic Justice: Gerald Sherman (Oglala Lakota), Founding Director, Lakota Funds
  • Identity and Race: Jonathan Jayes Green, Co-Founder and Network Coordinator, UndocuBlack Network
  • Food Systems and Food Sovereignty: Janie Simms Hipp (Chickasaw Nation) Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas
  • Environmental Justice: TBA


LUNCH SESSION: Growing Relationships Through Food

12:00 p.m.     Food Systems Presentation and Breakout Group Member Introductions

Native and Immigrant Executive Chefs will present the meal and talk about the importance of food systems and food sovereignty as it relates to identity, culture, and citizenship.

  • Freddie Bitsoie (Diné [Navajo]), Executive Chef, Mitsitam Native Foods Café, National Museum of the American Indian
  • Cristina Martinez, Chef/Owner, Barbacoa


AFTERNOON SESSION: Developing a Framework for Joint Action

1:00 p.m.       Facilitated Breakout Discussions

2:00 p.m.       Break – Networking

2:10 p.m.       Spoken Word Poet

  • Yosimar Reyes

2:15 p.m.       Sharing with the Whole: Breakout Groups Report Out

2:50 p.m.       Deepening Our Sense of “We”: Intersectionality and Alliances Across Our Shared


Focusing on the southern U.S. border and how land connects peoples and cultures, Native and Immigrant leaders will explore alliances and points of intersectionality as it plays out within a single region.

  • Ian Record, Director, Partnership for Tribal Governance, National Congress of American Indians (moderator)
  • Erika Andiola, Co-Founder of DRM Action Coalition, Political Director of Our Revolution
  • Edward D. Manuel, Chairman, Tohono O’odham Nation

3:20 p.m.       Forging Our Next Steps for Collective Action

This session will engage in the important work of formulating a Collaborative Framework, learning how to “Show up for one another”, and identifying next steps to refining and driving our shared narratives and priorities.

  • Building Our Collaborative Framework
  • Our Top Takeaway Priorities
  • Meeting Again to Deepen Our Shared Work

3:50 p.m.       Spoken Word Poets

  • Yosimar Reyes
  • Nicholas Courtney (Makah and Modoc)

3:55 p.m.       Closing

4:00 p.m.       Adjourn

IFAI reps attend State Democratic Rural Summit

IFAI reps attend State Democratic Rural Summit

The Summit, attended by IFAI Director Janie Simms Hipp and Policy Director Colby Duren, explores ways to drive investment to rural America to grow the economy, create jobs, and improve the quality of life.

Speakers and panel discussions will focus on:

– investing in basic infrastructure like building roads, schools, and hospitals and ensuring access to critical services like health care, water and wastewater, and broadband internet;

– fostering innovations that create new jobs and businesses in the energy, health care, agricultural economies; and

– strengthening a middle-class economy that honors our commitments to seniors and veterans while attracting the next generation of farmers and ranchers, young families, workers, and small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Roughly 60 million people reside in rural America, nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population. Rural America supply much of the food and energy and workforce that sustains our national economy. And yet there are barriers to economic opportunity for too many rural Americans.



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

902 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC


8:30 – 9:00 am

Registration and Breakfast Reception

9:00 – 9:30 am

Opening Remarks by Senate Democratic Leadership

9:30 – 10:00 am

Remarks from Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia

10:00 – 11:00 am

Panel I: Health Care in Rural America

Moderator: Mary Wakefield, Former Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Senator Bob Casey, Pennsylvania

Senator Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire

Senator Bill Nelson, Florida

11:00 – 12:00 pm

Panel II: Economic Opportunities in Rural America

Moderator: Lisa Mensah, President and Chief Executive Officer,Opportunity Finance Network


Senator Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin

Senator Chris Coons, Delaware

Senator Jeff Merkley, Oregon

Senator Jon Tester, Montana

12:00 – 12:30 pm

Q&A with Steve Case, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,Revolution LLC