Nikan Tochan Reclaiming Our Community » INDIGENOUS SCHOOL COMMUNITY PARTNERS WITH STATEWIDE INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT FARMERS AND FAMILIES 

INDIGENOUS SCHOOL COMMUNITY PARTNERS WITH STATEWIDE INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT FARMERS AND FAMILIES 

headerFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2021    


INDIGENOUS SCHOOL COMMUNITY PARTNERS WITH STATEWIDE INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT FARMERS AND FAMILIES 


In partnership with Growing the Table, The Office of Kat Taylor and Asian Americans for Housing, and in collaboration with BLC South Central, L.A. Tenants Union, National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, Thai CDC, Wygold LLC, Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, and Keys to The Streets South Central LA, Semillas Sociedad Civil has distributed more than 66,000 pounds of food through out the Los Angeles area. Food BoxAs a response to the COVID-19 crisis and the historical disparities affecting our communities, Semillas Sociedad Civil identified the immediate needs of our community and without delay created a partnership that would help us uplift our community through the distribution of ancestral based foods and knowledge shares “We organized as a school with our partners to try to provide what we could” says Tlayecatzi, Head of school and Executive Director, Marcos Aguilar, “from the very first day  of the pandemic we had to provide meals. There was a tremendous amount of chaos at the beginning of this whole pandemic and how to respond to the food insecurity and how to create these solutions autonomously.” Tata Aguilar continues, ``We learned about Growing the Table and we wanted to partner up so that we could improve the quality of the food and also think about the cultural  needs of the community.” Our Nikan Tochan initiative is dedicated to Indigenous-led, community based, and environmentally conscious socio-ecosystem revitalization. Following our fundamental pillars of Love, Land, Life and Liberation, the Nikan Tochan Initiative helps our communities build power for autonomy, food sovereignty and sustainability.  

Following the first 3 weeks of food distribution, our Community Knowledge Shares hosted by community members and parents have been an integral part of building solutions as a community. Ary Sanchez Amaya, Project and Equal Literacy Coordinator, Ketsal Libre Fellow shares, “The knowledge shares have allowed our family members, youth, and teachers to better understand our histories and regional specific ties to land and cultural foods and ancestral knowledge.” We are honored to have been able to offer a space where community members gathered to share ancestral wisdom which is why on the last day of food distribution we featured El Sereno BeeKeepers- John and Victor Jaramillo. Together, they shared their work in the community as traditional beekeepers and the connections among bees, food and the environment as well as distributed honey to Semillas families.

Jaramillo family

Pictured above: Right to left, Victor Jaramillo and son John Jaramillo with locally harvested honey.

Other Food Sovereignty Knowledge Shares have included: History of Food Injustice, Food and Environmental Justice as well as discussions about traditional food systems- hunting, agriculture and breastfeeding as our first food. We plan to continue organizing with our parent community. Familias FirstCommunity organizer with TZICATL CDC, Maria Villamil has shared, “We will be following parent recommendations to continue to build leadership and access to the many ways that we have recently reconnected with food sovereignty practices, relationships and new partners. Our parents are looking forward to continuing to nurture and cultivate these ways at home and in our school community.” Pictured above: Project and Equal Liberacy Coordinator, Ketsal Fellow, Ary Sanchez Amaya and Semillas Family.

Semillas Sociedad Civil is an indigenous community-based nonprofit organization that organizes youth, parents and educators to advance self-determination, sovereignty and human rights as Indigenous Peoples through autonomous education and advocacy.

Pictured right: Project and Equal Liberacy Coordinator, Ketsal Fellow, Ary Sanchez Amaya and Semillas Family.

 

Contact: Maria Villamil, TZICATL CDC Community Organizer & Cultural Strategist mvillamil@dignidad.org

Carolina Morales, Digital Media & Communications Coordinator cmorales@dignidad.org