Indigenous Youth Food Sovereignty Program

students and their families in the UNL Indigenous Food Garden

The Indigenous Food Sovereignty Program is sponsored by the UNL Tribal Extension Office. This program welcomes Indigenous high school students onto UNL’s East Campus to engage with Indigenous elders and UNL Extension faculty to learn how to grow their own food and establish food sovereignty for their families and communities. They meet on Saturday mornings throughout the year to learn how to prepare, maintain, harvest, and preserve the food they will grow in the UNL Indigenous Garden on East Campus.

This is a one-year program and students will receive a $500 stipend per quarter along with a certificate of completion at the end of the year.

Classes will be held on Saturday mornings from 9:00 – 12:00 in the Plant Sciences building at UNL East Campus, and a breakfast will be served at each class. Classroom supplies and a UNL backpack will also be given to all students participating in the program.

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Topics Covered

  • Traditional Stories Focusing on Indigenous Worldviews
  • Social Media – Smart Phones – iNaturalist Maps
  • Landscape Design – Garden Space
  • Saving Traditional Indigenous Seeds and Planting and Gathering Practices
  • Starting Plants Indoors to Transplant Outdoors
  • Planning the Coming Growing Season's Garden, including Layout and Crop Rotation
  • Procurement of Seeds
  • Bee Hotels/Hives – Honey and Solitary Bees
  • UNL Student Environmental Presentations (Sustain)
  • Health and Nutrition Presentations
  • College Advisement
  • Journaling – Growing with the Garden

Through this Program, Students Will:

  • Share traditional stories focusing on Indigenous worldviews
  • Research, gather and save traditional Indigenous seeds
  • Create a social media outlet that showcases their work
  • Reflect on soils, plants, insects, weather and pollinators through journaling
  • Plan and map a landscape design for their garden
  • Prepare, maintain, harvest and preserve food grown in the garden/greenhouse
  • Identify and work with a college advisor/mentor