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The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI), with generous support by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) through its Seeds of Native Health campaign, has opened 21 AmeriCorps VISTA positions available at 10 Tribal governments and Tribal communities throughout the United States.

AmeriCorps VISTA is an important and vital community and public service program operated by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

This unique partnership between VISTA, the SMSC, and IFAI allows for coordination of these placements and the creation of a cohort of Native Food Sovereignty Fellows. Fellows will work in teams placed in Native American communities to contribute to and assist in efforts focused on food sovereignty, food systems, and tribal economies that build opportunities in food and agriculture.

VISTA positions are paid positions providing benefits, educational benefits upon successful completion of the assignment, living and housing assistance, child care (if applicable) and related support. The VISTA Native Food Sovereignty Fellows will work closely with IFAI and receive ongoing training and assistance from IFAI to augment their local work.

The application period is now open. All those interested can apply directly through the AmeriCorps VISTA website, which explains the application process.

Space is limited, and we are looking to fill positions quickly – Apply now!

If you have any questions, please email Director Janie Hipp at jhipp@uark.edu, or VISTA Coordinator Bryan Pollard at bpollard@uark.edu.

Native Food Sovereignty Fellows are being placed at these host sites:

  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (Eagle Butte, SD)
  • Crow Creek Sioux Tribe (Fort Thompson, SD)
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (Cherokee, NC)
  • Lower Sioux Indian Community (Morton, MN)
  • Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma (Quapaw, OK)
  • Red Lake Band of Ojibwa Indians (Red Lake, MN)
  • San Ildefenso Pueblo, NM
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (Fort Yates, ND)
  • Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (La Conner, WA)
  • Village of Tyonek (Tyonek, AK)

 

 

Native Village of Tyonek

 

 

The Native Village of Tyonek is located in southern Alaska not far from Anchorage.

 

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

 

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is headquartered in Cherokee, NC. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians were once part of a much larger Cherokee Nation population. However, when the Trail of Tears was mandated, and forced removal and relocation were directed by the US government and then President Andrew Jackson, the Cherokee Tribe became divided into what is known today as the Cherokee Nation and United Kituwah Band, located in Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band, made up of those who remained and rebuilt within North Carolina’s Qualla Boundary (sometimes called the Cherokee Indian Reservation). Learn more about them here.

 

Quapaw Tribe of Indians

The Quapaw Tribe of Indians is located in the Northeastern corner of Oklahoma.The Quapaw were a division of a larger group known as the Dhegiha Sioux many years ago. The Dhegiha split into the tribes known today as the Quapaw, Osage, Ponca, Kansa and Omaha when they left the Ohio Valley. The Quapaw moved down the Mississippi River into Arkansas, this is the origin of the word Ogaxpa, which can be translated as “downstream people.” Learn more about them here.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is located in Eagle Butte, SD.

Lower Sioux Indian Community

The Lower Sioux Indian Community is located in Morton, Minnesota. The region is primarily rich agricultural land in the river flood plain and the wooded bluffs behind. The community was built on the hillside and uplands. It centers around the tribal offices, a new community center, Tipi Maka Duta (the Lower Sioux Trading Post), and St. Cornelia Episcopal Church built in 1889 and now on the National Register of Historic sites.

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

 

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is located in La Conner, Washington. They are a community of Coast Salish peoples descended from groups and bands originating from the Skagit and Samish River valleys, coastal areas surrounding nearby bays and waters, and numerous islands including Fidalgo, Camano, Whidbey and the San Juan Islands. Learn more about them here.

 

San Ildefenso

The Pueblo de San Ildefonso history dates back to 1300 A.D. when the people from Bandelier moved down to the current location next to the Rio Grande. Before this, they had come from Mesa Verde in Southern Colorado. Today the Pueblo consists of more than 60,000 acres and has an enrollment of approximately 750 people. We are located north of Santa Fe, off State Road 502 and east of Los Alamos, along the Rio Grande Valley. Learn more about them here.

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