Building an Indigenous Foods Knowledges Network Through Relational Accountability


Jäger, Mary Beth, Daniel Ferguson, Orville Huntington, Michael Johnson, Noor Johnson, Amy Juan, Shawna Larson, Peter Pulsifer, Tristan Reader, Colleen Strawhacker, Althea Walker, Denali Whiting, Jamie Wilson, Janene Yazzie, Stephanie Carroll, and Indigenous Foods Knowledges Network. 2019. “Building an Indigenous Foods Knowledges Network Through Relational Accountability”. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 9 (B), 45-51.

In recent decades, there has been a movement toward rectifying injustices and developing collab­orations between Indigenous communities and mainstream researchers to address environmental challenges that are of concern to Indigenous Peo­ples. This movement, primarily driven by Indige­nous community leaders and scholars, emphasizes community-driven research that addresses Indige­nous People’s interests, foregrounds Indigenous Knowledge systems, and both respects and asserts Indigenous sovereignty. This article describes a nascent model in the movement—the Indigenous Foods Knowledges Network (IFKN)—designed to connect Indigenous communities and scholars across the Arctic and the U.S. Southwest. IFKN’s goal is to foster a network of Indigenous leaders, citizens, and scholars who are focused on research and community capacity related to food sover­eignty and resilience. IFKN members collectively work to promote and carry out research that (1) utilizes Indigenous research processes, (2) embraces and respects Indigenous Knowledge sys­tems, and (3) supports Indigenous communities (IFKN, 2018). The authors discuss relational accountability and centering of story, which form the foundation for the methodological approaches and work of IFKN.

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