Indigenous Food Wellness Circle Program


Indigenous Food Wellness Circle Classes

This program uses the Indigenous medicine wheel as a model to focus on the four directions for healthy eating: nutrition education, food preparation and safety, cooking and recipes, and food preservation.

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Indigenous Food Wellness Circle Events

These events are hosted in the spring, summer, fall, and winter by the UNL Tribal Extension Office. Tribal communities in Nebraska are invited to attend these seasonal wellness circle events that focus on nutrition education, food preparation and safety, cooking and recipes, and food preservation.

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Urban Indigenous Food Sovereignty Programs

UNL Indigenous Food Sovereignty Program

This program will welcome Native American students onto UNL’s East Campus to engage with Native American elders, UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty, and Extension educators to learn how to grow their own food and establish food sovereignty for their families and communities. Students will grow both edible and medicinal traditional foods in the Indigenous Garden on UNL's East Campus.

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Rural Indigenous Food Sovereignty Programs


Ashita Thewathe (Let's Go Outside) K-8 Garden Program

This tribal food sustainability program engages K – 8 students at the Umonhon Nation Public School in hands-on, outdoor group and individual experiences that provide a love of gardening, develops an appreciation for the environment and a connection to their language and traditional practices.

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UNL / UNPS Farm to School Program

This program is a collaboration between the UNL Native American Coalition and the Umonhon Nation Public School (UNPS) food sustainability programs. UNL will provide training and funding for UNPS to bring fresh-grown produce to the lunch tables for their K–12 students. This collaboration will also share Umonhon language and traditional growing practices with the students.

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elder with grand child and jelly made from her garden

(Helping One Another) Cooperative Program

This program will educate Umonhon Nation Tribal members on how to start a business or cooperative in their communities. Community members will learn basic concepts in planning, promoting, and understanding business/cooperative structures and designs.

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Nation Nourishment Program

This program is a partnership between Nebraska Indian Community College, the Center for Rural Affairs, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Tribal Extension Program. This tribal food sustainability program is designed to create local food producers for the Umonhon Nation. These food producers will grow food for their families, communities and commercial venues to create economic development.

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photo of lettuce growing in hydroponics

Umonhon Nation Hydroponics Initiative

This program focuses on hydroponics, a non-traditional method for growing food. Hydroponics involves growing plants without soil by using water-based mineral nutrient solutions. This program will provide year-round fresh food for the Umonhon tribe.

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UNL / Tribal Cultural Exchange Programs


Medicine Wheel Talking Circle Training Model

The first goal of the Medicine Wheel Talking Circle Training Model is to create good relationships and foster strong identity which leads to people becoming good relatives to one another. The second goal of this model is to create relationships between Nebraska communities and Nebraska Extension.

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Tribal Engagement Training Model

This model utilizes an Indigenous medicine wheel design that acknowledges the four directions and the circular motion of the medicine wheel that starts in the east and flows clockwise south, west and north. This model is designed to provide four two-hour training modules that will share knowledge on tribal worldviews/cultures, tribal policies/history, tribal community assessment and tribal economic opportunities.

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Indigenous Speaker Series

Indigenous speakers will be invited to speak on a variety of issues such as traditional women’s roles, Indigenous relationships with the earth and water and traditional Indigenous worldviews.

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UNL / Indigenous Summits

These summits will bring together tribal communities, UNL Faculty, and Nebraska Extension Educators to focus on the health and relationships of all living things.

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Indigenous Educational Programs

Applied Science Online Degree Program

Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC) and the UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources have partnered to create an articulation agreement for a B.S. in Applied Science Program (Online). This online program provides tribal students the opportunity to take classes from the convenience of their homes or at NICC’s computer labs. Applied Science is one of the most flexible majors, allowing you to choose from several areas of emphasis:

  • Food, Animal and Plant Science
  • Genetics, Biotechnology and Processing
  • Ecology
  • Entrepreneurship, Economics and Policy

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