Ecological Restoration, Sustainable Agriculture, and Native American Cultural Restoration
At Native Foods Nursery, 1 cent of every dollar you spend on native plants goes to one or more of the above causes!
In the context of native edible/medicinal plants, the three causes of Ecological Restoration, Native American Welfare, and Sustainable Agriculture are extremely interrelated (see more detail on each below). We look for projects that naturally combine the three.
For example, increasing Native American welfare directly increases their capacity to care for their lands in truly sustainable ways (better than the USFS, BLM, NPS or DOI), increasing not only ecological values but also increasing native food and medicine production for a truly lasting and resilient agriculture. This may also provide Native Americans the opportunity to share their traditional ecological knowledge for the benefit of other lands and peoples.
Our Current Giving:
At this time, our giving is focused on growing native plants and donating a percentage of proceeds to an ecological and cultural restoration project for the Burns Paiute tribe in rural Eastern Oregon. The Burns Paiute Culture and Heritage department is restoring areas of their aboriginal land to maintain the ecology and their cultural heritage. This particular tribe has a unique story in the Pacific Northwest, both tragic and inspiring. Read more about them HERE.
Native American Cultural Restoration:
Native American history in this country and in the Northwest is an unimaginably tragic story. It's a story of genocide, betrayal, oppression, & misappropriation. North American indigenous peoples numbered around 10 million before Columbus landed, and within 150 years, dwindled to 1/10th of that size. Over the next 500 years, they became the victims of violence, forceful relocation, assimilation, and various forms of physical, mental, and social abuse.
And yet they remain today - making their story not just a tragic one, but one of hope, of community, of spirituality, of diversity, of honor, and of resilience. They have survived genocide and are determined to revitalize their culture and the lands they came from.
However, systemic oppression and the collective historical trauma remain real barriers to their welfare. To this day, Native Americans on the whole suffer from poorer health outcomes, lower educational success, extremely limited access to resources, and shorter life expectancy than any other racial group. They suffer from high rates of addiction, violence, alcoholism, suicide, and sexual abuse within and beyond their Native families and communities. 600 Native American tribes are recognized by the Federal Government today, but they are largely a forgotten people, receiving extremely little support. We can help change that.
"Native Hope" is a national 501c3 organization that work to repair and restore Native American communities. https://pages.nativehope.org/donate
Also, we offer 10% off for all Tribal Member customers - use the coupon code "indigenousrestoration"
At one time, all agriculture was ecologically sustainable. It was small scale, human-powered, and integrated with the ecology and culture of the place. Today, modern industrial agriculture dominates the Earth, responsible for massive carbon emissions, soil degradation & loss, habitat loss, water pollution, chemical toxicity, and more.
We have a choice to return to sustainable methods of agriculture and still feed the growing human population. Shifting to organic, no-till, perennial-based agriculture that intelligently integrates livestock (Permaculture), while integrating this with the native ecology, is a real possibility today. We can support this shift, and our own health and well-being, through what we buy and eat everyday. We can also support this by planting native and edible plants in our gardens and our yards - strengthening the ecology, improving soils, and reducing reliance on industrial means of production. Lastly, we can support this shift by donating to organizations that are working towards this change on greater societal levels:
"Kiss the Ground" is a California-based nonprofit working to regenerate land and reverse climate change through rebuilding healthy soil. They create educational curriculum, campaigns, and media to raise awareness and empower individuals to purchase food that supports healthy soils and a balanced climate. Donate at https://kisstheground.com/memberships/
Dozens of plant and animal species are going extinct every day. Habitat loss and alteration is widespread, in process in almost every place on the planet. Some say we're in the midst of the sixth great extinction this Earth has witnessed. The restoration of our native ecologies isn't just a good thing to do; it has become a necessity.
We have the opportunity to repair and restore the natural world around us. We can support this by planting native plants in our yards, in our parks, and in natural areas around our cities. We can consider what plants are already there before planting new ones of our own. We can also support this by using natural products that support life in our homes and yard and communities, and by reducing our carbon footprints. We can also donate to organizations that are actively involved in this important work:
The Society for Ecological Restoration is an international nonprofit that actively protects and restores ecosystems, and has regional chapters. Here is the link to the Northwest chapter membership page: https://chapter.ser.org/northwest/membership/