Igiugig Village recently received a grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado in the amount of $39,794. This award will support the village greenhouse and a traditional wild foods initiative. The 12-month project focuses on increasing food security and providing local organic foods year-round. Igiugig's remote location makes these efforts critical to the health and nutrition of the village.
Community members will be invited to participate in various aspects of the project, such as harvesting wild foods, assisting in the greenhouse, learning food preservation methods, and attending trainings offered by consultants and local elders. Food processing equipment will be purchased to allow residents to safely store subsistence foods for year-round consumption. Grow lights will be installed in the greenhouse to enable the growing of fresh produce throughout the winter months. Youth will have entrepreneurial opportunities by running a traditional food cart, selling foods harvested through the project.
Igiugig Village is one of 15 grantees nationwide in this inaugural year of the Seeds of Native Health grant program from First Nations Development Institute. The Seeds of Native Health campaign is targeted at improving Indigenous nutrition across the country by increasing awareness of nutrition problems and promoting the application of proven best practices.
In Igiugig, this project will impact the community by increasing access to healthy foods and supporting efforts to return to a more traditional diet. This approach will also provide a template for other Alaska Native communities who are interested in regaining food control and promoting independence from outside food suppliers.
As Greenhouse Director, Jeff Bringhurst will be the project director. Renée Grounds will assist as Grants Administrator. They will both attend a mandatory grant training provided by First Nations Development Institute in Santa Fe, NM in September. For more information about the initiative visit firstnations.org/programs/foods-health or seedsofnativehealth.org.