- What are the strengths of Fair Trade? What are the gaps?
- What is the difference between charity & solidarity? How is it applied to examples like AgroEco & Alta Gracia?
- What can students & consumers do to strengthen the Fair Trade movement?
Concerned consumers look to labels to ensure that they are making conscious decisions in their food purchases in order to use their dollars in line with their values. However, the multitude of certification labels for the same product and the lack of knowing the difference between them all. Let us demand transparency in the food system--one step towards food system justice!
Food for Thought
Amah Mutsun Speaker Series
The Spirit of Resilience in the Face of Oppression
This Amah Mutsun Speaker Series will be held on May 10 at the UC Arboretum from 12-5pm. The event will also be followed by a social where people can enjoy food and socialize with each other. Two native hip hop groups will also be present: Redstar (Wicahpiluta Candelaria) and AlmasFronteriazs. The guest speakers include: Lisbeth Haas, Professor of History and Chair of Feminist Studies, UCSC. Elias Castillo, author of the forthcoming book, A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of the California Indians by Spanish missions. This book presents irrefutable evidence regarding the brutal treatment of the Indians by the Franciscans. And the final guest speaker Lucio Ramirez, PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan Social Psychology program. This event is free for anyone to attend and we hope everyone can make it.
Did you know that there are 8 varieties of native California potatoes? Or that the grazing grasses we see all alongside the road and hillsides is not native to this region?
Amah Mutsun tribal chairman and elder, Valentin Lopez, and Rick Flores, curorator of the native California plant collection at the UCSC Arboretum shared this wisdom and more with UCSC students, CASFS Apprentices and community members during a special night of Cultivating a Daily Revolution at Kresge College.
The Amah Mutsun are dedicated to protecting mother earth and all of the living things. They pray for balance in the relationships that exist between the plants, bees, birds, soil, and all living things on earth. But first they must relearn their knowledge and heal relationship with one another as a tribal community. Through Wellness Meetinfs and Talking Circles they seek to heal seven generations of historic trauma and re-teach lessons of love, optimism, & self worth, values that have been hindered by the discrimination the Native community faces. Shifting their focus to survival, these families were not able to pass on these lessons.
Despite drawing links to the mission period to Mission San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz, the Amah Mutsun receive no government assistance. Valentin described one practice exercised by missionaries to lure indigenous peoples to the missions: women would be tied in a chain by their thumbs, then taken to the mission only to be soon followed by children and men Although Mission Santa Cruz’s priests’ were notorious for their cruelty, the U.S. holds that there is no evidence of the Amah Mutsun’s mistreatment by the Catholic church.
While this relationship might be tense, the tribe has successfully partnered with researchers and science to restore health to the bad. Through the discovery of native varieties and explaining traditional land stewardship practice and their history through the translation of historical documents of which there are a ton!
The Amah Mutsun partner with organizations to protect Mother Earth through the new Tribal Land Trust. Partners include the UCSC Arboretum and Pinnacle National Park. Together they re-learn land stewardship practices like when native resources were used to make baskets, homes, food, etc.
Some closing notes:
FoCAN, CASFS, and UCSC would like to extend all of our thanks and heartfelt appreciation to Valentin and Rick!