Food Sovereignty

Henry Red Cloud stands in Solar Warrior Farm.

Henry Red Cloud stands proud among
healthy corn in Solar Warrior Farm.

Our Food Sovereignty Program provides a functional and educational example of sustainable food production for tribal communities. The program empowers Native Americans to grow their own nutritious and traditional foods, an important step toward tribal food independence. By bringing together the tools and knowledge needed for sustainable food production, Trees Water & People will directly strengthen the relationship of one's food, one's body, and the connection that Native Peoples have with Mother Earth and her ability to sustain life.

The Food Sovereignty Program's "Solar Warrior Farm," located at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, grows a wide variety of native and heirloom fruits and vegetables. We nurture this space with raised garden beds, protected by hoop houses to extend the growing season. These small plots have become living examples that Native Americans can visit and learn from. In addition, we offer the fresh produce, grown at Solar Warrior Farm, to Pine Ridge residents in need.

The Food Sovereignty Program also aims to improve the lives of vulnerable Oglala Lakota youth using a community-based approach, empowering families with the confidence, knowledge, and ability to produce healthy sustenance for themselves and their extended families. By promoting self-sufficient food production within the Pine Ridge community, children and youth can learn all the benefits that accompany producing food for themselves and their families, as well as the importance of nutrition and the negative health effects of processed foods. By volunteering their time in the educational garden space, youth learn self discipline, the rewards of hard work, and the importance of understanding the natural cycles of Mother Earth that their ancestors knew so well.

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Colorado State University alternative break students help remove weeds from the greenhouse. Executive Director, Richard Fox, helps till the soil at Solar Warrior Farm. Volunteers help prepare the soil on Solar Warrior Farm at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. View more photos