• 600 International Delegates at Indigenous Terra Madre 2015

      27th October 2015 Published in English

      Representatives of several tribes and communities from all over the world will contribute to the event by sharing their knowledge and experiences

      A large delegation of representatives of indigenous communities from the Slow Food Terra Madre network and beyond will be participating in Indigenous Terra Madre (ITM 2015), which will take place from November 3 to 7, 2015 in Shillong (Meghalaya, India). The event is the result of a collaboration between Slow Food, theIndigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty (Indigenous Partnership) and theNorth East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS).

      International representatives will be coming to the event from five continents, from 14 African   countries,  17Asian countries, 8 European countries, 12 American countries and 7 Oceanian countries.

      Here you will find more detailed information about tribes and communities coming from Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Siberia and Central Asia, Tanzania, Uganda and the US.

      Brazilian tribes and communities - click here for the Portuguese version:

      - the Juruna tribe (Aldeia Juruna, Boa Vista, Vitoria do Xingu-pa, Pará state). The organization Do Povo Juruna Do Xingu (Apijux) is part of a community made up of around 250 people. They are been affected by the construction of one of the biggest hydroelectric plants in the world (in Belo Monte). The community produces their own food in order to prevent illness and they are trying to stop the devastation of the forest. Two representatives from the Juruna tribe, a mother and son, will participate in the Food Festival, which will be held on the last day of the event: the Brazilian cook Marineide Machado Camizao will be cooking for more than 100 people in the ITM Kitchen, together with Indian cook Artet Kharsati. Marineide will prepare three different dishes using indigenous Brazilian products. 

      - the Sateré-Mawé tribe (Terras nativas Andirá Marau; Uaicurapá, Andirá,  Barreirinha and Marau and Amazonas-Pará rivers). The Sateré-Mawé tribe has been cultivating the native Waraná fruit for hundreds of years, as part of their culinary and religious culture. Many years ago they decided to follow the ancient traditions of Mayan meliponiculture by breeding small native stingless bees - the Canudo bees - who are responsible for the pollination of at least 80% of the Amazon flora. The Slow Food Presidia of the Waraná and the Native Canudo Bees’ Honey of the Sateré-Mawé tribe are closely linked, since the nectar is obtained from the flowers of the Waraná plants. A representative from the Sateré Mawé community will attend the Thematic Track Session "Pollinator And Bee Enthusiasts Get Together" which will be held on November 4, from 11.15 am to 12.45 pm.

      - the Xakriabá tribe (Terra Indigena Xakriabá and Xakriabá Rancharia, Itacarambi and São João das Missões rivers, north of Minas Gerais). The predominant vegetation of the area is the cerrado, where people can hunt and harvest fruits such as cagaita, araticum, jabuticaba, maracujá, melão de São Caetano, xixá and pequi. Some of these products are already on board of the Slow Food Ark of Taste (Cagaita andPequi). A young representative from the Xakriabá community will attend the Thematic Track Session "From Field To Plate: Stories Of Slow Food, NESFAS And Other Producer And Chef Alliances" which will be held on November 4 from 11.15 am to 12.45 pm. 

      Ethiopian tribes and communities:

      - the Konso community (south-central Ethiopia). The origins of Konso culture are intertwined with the domestication of the moringa tree and its introduction in the highlands. Moringa leaves have joined the Slow Food Ark of Taste. The trees provide shade for coffee, the most valuable cash crop in the highlands. In fact the association of the two plants, moringa and coffee, exists only in the Konso area as it is a specific cultural expression of the deep link between the Konso and their ecosystem.

      - the Hor tribe (southwest Ethiopia, north of Lake Stephanie Basi). An agro-pastoral community with a population of 6,000, mainly pastoralists and fishers. They plant different type of sorghum and raise sheep, goats and cattle, acting as custodians of rare local varieties.

      - the Guji-Oromo community (Guji zone in the Oromia region). They are among the indigenous Oromo tribes sharing borders with the Sidama, Gedeo and other ethnic groups in southeastern part of the country. The Guji people are pastoralists in lowland areas and farmers in the highlands. In the highlands they produce honey, coffee, cereals and other crops, whereas in lowland they raise camels, sheep, goat and cattle. They govern themselves using the Gada system.

      - the Gedeo community (southern Ethiopia between the Sidama and Boran zone of the Oromia region). They are sedentary cultivators, focusing on a food crop, ensete (Ethiopian banana), and a cash crop, coffee. They are unique among the ensete-growing peoples, as they plant the ensete, elsewhere largely a homestead crop, in the fields. They are the only people to intercrop their ensete with coffee. The Gedeo are also renowned for their conservation of natural resources. Using ensete, the Gedeo are able to produce food, livestock feed and wood from the same plot.

      - the Hadiya community. Mainly shifting cultivators. 

      - the Gamo community. They are agro-pastoralist people and grow cereals, root crops and livestock on a mountain landscape.  

      Representatives of several groups and organizations from Ethiopia will also attend the event, including the Woyera-Moringa Suppliers Association (a cooperative which unites mostly female members of the Konso community who work with moringa leaves); the Baaboo (a local NGO which focuses on ensete development—planting, processing, and marketing—and on Gedeo ensete cuisines; the Tena Agar Traditional Foods and Utensils Protection and Promotion Association (established in 2011, it studies, documents, promotes and supports the production, preparation, supply and distribution of traditional foods and drinks and their utensils); the Daanchee Gedeo Ensete Cuisines Baaboo Development & Relief Association (whose mission is to promote Gedeo ensete cuisines through food shows, cultural events and its mobile kitchen) and Addis Ababa University.

      Kenyan tribes and communities:

      Gabbra communities (northern Kenya and highlands of southern Ethiopia). The Gabbra communities are camel-herding nomads, specializing in the production of milk and animal fat. They will use their traditional knowledge and experience in nomadic livestock management to demonstrate herders’ resilience to cope with constant drought and climate-change-induced stresses.

      - the Watta/Wayyuu community (northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia). The Watta community is traditionally made up of hunters and gatherers, though they have now been assimilated into a larger group in the region. The Watta are at the point of extinction, having been marginalized and lost their hunting livelihoods since government policies made hunting illegal and seized land for development. Currently they are pastoralist and are promoting a revival of their culture and language in order to reclaim their identity.

      - the Kalenjin community (Rift Valley). The Kalenjin community is a semi-nomadic pastoralist group famous for giving returning champions a drink of traditionally fermented milk known as mursik from a colorful gourd or sotet. The adoption of mursik milk-preserving technology by non-pastoralist communities has meant its commercialization can serve as a viable source of income for livestock farmers.

      - the El Molo community (southeastern shores of Lake Turkana). The smallest indigenous fishing group (around 400 people) in the area.

      - the Ogiek tribe. Involved in the production of the Ogiek honey, a Slow Food Presidium in the Mau Forest. With support from NECOFA, Manitese and Slow Food the members have been given training in adding value and marketing and are now in the process of developing a Participatory Forest Management Plan (PFMP) that will allow them to co-manage the forest with the Kenya Forest Service. Since becoming a Slow Food Presidium and adding value to their honey they are earning a better income, which has greatly improved their lives.

      - the Burji community. This community practices agro-pastoralism and is made up of farmers and traders. The community promotes drought-tolerant crops (e.g. finger millet, sorghum wheat, barley) and uses indigenous knowledge in planting kale and onions to sustain itself. The Burji produce ruke, a bread made from wheat flour, which can last for more than three months and it is mostly used by men when travelling long distances.

      - the Borana community (Isiolo county). These pastoralists face numerous challenges because of the harsh nature of their living environment. They are greatly affected by seasonal weather changes, and are not economically empowered to cushion themselves against these tough conditions. The imminent erosion of a culture of preservation will also soon expose a technological inability to ensure a sustainable food supply.

      - the Samburu community. A nomadic pastoralist community whose mobility depends on the pattern of the rains. They live communally and they eat mainly milk and blood from their animals and wild honey, which acts as a herbal medicine and helps prevent illness.

      - the Turkana community. The third largest Nilotic ethnic group in Kenya, mainly semi–nomadic pastoralists. Livestock is a very important aspect of their lives; they rely on their animals, like cows, goats, camels and donkeys, for milk, meat and blood as their staple foods. 

      - the Rendille community. A nomadic group in north-central Kenya, very dependent on their livestock, which they rely on for milk, meat and blood, their staple foods. They keep animals like cows, goats, camels and donkeys. The women are in charge of the animal products (meat, blood, milk and ghee) and feeding the families. 

      - the Porini Sanctuary, a hub in the middle of the Mwireri community. This hub brings together hunter-gatherers, small-scale farmers and pastoralists. It saddles a diverse melting pot of cultures and forms a stable stronghold of intercultural exchanges and cultural tolerance, as was demonstrated during the post-election violence in 2007/2008, when the community was a haven for those fleeing disturbed areas. They are currently collaborating with Slow Food Kenya on how to form a Presidium. Indigenous honey and food crops are the main products, which feed the neighboring communities.

      Representatives from several other groups and organizations from Kenya will also attend the event, including the Kivulini Trust (an organization that supports the improvement of the social and economic status of pastoralist communities in the Trust area through capacity building for sustainable livelihoods leading to self-reliance), the Waso Trustland Project (which undertakes protection of land user rights and social and economic development of indigenous communities in Isiolo county), MWADO (Marsabit Women Advocacy and Development Organization), the Samburu Women Trust (a network of thousands of women across four counties in Kenya) and the Pastoralist Youth for Environment Conservation (started in 2012, its main aim is to empower pastoralist youth to become self-reliant and participate in a number of activities).

      Mexican tribes and communities - click here for the Spanish version:

      - the Mixes community (Sierra Norte de Oaxaca). The overall community consists of nearly 290 smaller communities and settlements within 19 municipalities. The Mixes have ethnic differences, expressed through clothing, customs, gastronomy, economic activities, art and language. The Mixes produce Pasilla Mixe chili, a product that is on board the Slow Food Ark of Taste. There will also be a representative of a project for the production of coffee.

      - the Nahua de Tlaola community (north of Puebla Sierra). The community has approximately 2000 inhabitants. Since ancient times farmers have cultivated a chili, locally known as Serrano Chile, which is already on board of the Ark of Taste. Men and women of all ages participate in the planting, harvesting and processing of the Serrano chilis; women are responsible for the preparation of the seeds. Since ancient times, Nahua women have smoked or sun-dried Serrano chilis, so that they would be available in periods in which otherwise there would not be access to fresh products. From the Nahua de Tlaola community, there will also be a representative of the Empresa Social De Mujeres Indígenas Nahuas Productoras De Chille Serrano Criollo Mopampa. The Nahua de Cuetzalan community will be represented through theSociedad Cooperativa Agropecuaria Regional Tosepan Titataniske, an organization composed mainly of indigenous families who want to work together to improve their quality of life and who are produces the Puebla Sierra Norte Native Bees Honey, a Slow Food Presidia.

      - the Tarahumara community (Sierra Tarahumara in Chihuahua). The Tarahumara are organized in villages that oversee a number of farms. The most important food for the indigenous people who inhabit the Sierra Tarahumara is corn. For them, corn is not only food for the body, but also for the soul. With corn they produce tortillas, pinole, atole and teswino. During all their festivities and ceremonies they offer food to Onorúame-Eyerúame (Father-Mother gods) to thank them. There will also be a representative of the CONTEC organization, which works with the community to promote rural economy and local governance.

      - the Yaqui community (Valle del Rio Yaqui, Sonora). Currently the population numbers approximately 32,000 people. Traditional economic activities are livestock, agriculture, fishing and craftsmanship.

      - the Otomi community (San Francisco Magu, in the state of Mexico).

      - the Calcehtok community (Municipality Opichén, Yucatan Peninsula).

      - the Tzeltal Maya community (Amatenango del Valle, Chiapas). All heads of household grow corn for the food security of the local community. For several centuries, production in this area has been characterized by the use of milpas: a milpa is a system for growing up to sixty different crops: beans, corn, malezas or quelites (leafy greens), for example. The food produced in the milpas represents a healthy and complete diet, which adequate proportion of proteins, complete carbohydrates, fats and needed micronutrients.

      Siberian and Central Asian tribes and communities - click here for the Russian version:

      - the Khongodor clan of Buryat-Mongolian people (Lake Baikal region). They belong to the largest ethnic group in Siberia. Meat and milk are the main components of their traditional diet. For thousands of years “Sagaan Idee,” meaning white foods or dairy products, were an essential part of their lives; these foods are considered alive and treated with a huge amount of respect (milk is considered sacred). Buryats strongly believe that during ceremonies that worship ancestral spirits and their gods, the inaugural offering should be made of milk and milk products.

      - the Pamiri people (Tajikistan). Pamiri history is marked by conflicts over territory and scarce natural resources. By 1904, Russia had annexed the Pamiri lands from the emir (king) of Bukhara. In total, the Pamiri population reached about 120,000. Most live in the high valley of the Western Pamirs Mountains. These mountains are known as the "Roof of the World" in Persian. They are the second highest in the world after the Himalayas. Pamiri are involved in the production of Pamiri Mulberry, a Slow Food Presidia.

      - the Crimean Tartars (Crimean Peninsula). The Crimean Tartars are famous for their rich variety of wild plants and medicinal herbs, traditionally used to make teas and balsam liqueurs. Included among their most notable products are a wild rose tea and a beverage based on dandelion root and bramble leaf.

      - the Tubalars community (Altai Republic). They were hunters, fishermen and gatherers of pine nuts, berries and mushrooms, but encroaching civilizations have destroyed their former way of life. The Taiga forest was subjected to cutting, and mountain rivers were turned into channels for the transport of timber. The community includes beekeepers who produce honey and safeguard local species of bees.

      - the Evenk people (formerly known as Tungus, in Eastern Siberia, Russia). The traditional Evenki economy was a mix of pastoralism (of horses or reindeer), fishing and hunting.

      Representatives from several groups and organizations from Siberia and Central Asia will be present, such as the Baikal Buryat Center for Indigenous Cultures (which works on cultural rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Baikal region, environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and the revival of traditional knowledge and spirituality); the Union of Beekeepers of the Altai Republic (which promotes bee products and markets products from local producers); the Institute for Sustainable Development Strategy Public Foundation (which promotes the concept of biocultural diversity in Kyrgyzstan and provides informational, organizational and financial support to NGOs and CBOs); the Agency of Development Initiatives - ADI (which contributes to rural development by providing support through community development initiatives and which is present in all seven regions of Kyrgyzstan); the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East - RAIPON (an umbrella organization uniting more than 40 different nationalities living in Russia) and theAssociation of Indigenous People of Russia and Far East Indigenous People community “Tiger.

      Tanzanian communities:

      - the Masaai community (Arumeru district). They are mainly pastoralists who move from one place to another during the dry season looking for pasture. However, some are also farmers. The Masaai have been affected by landgrabbing by foreign investors, which has caused land conflicts. Slow Food has previously reported on this landgrabbing occurring in the Serengeti

      - the Nyiramba community (Mara Region near Musuma). They are mainly herbalists.

      Ugandan tribes and communities:

      - the Bakonjo community (Lake Katwe Sub county). They are farmers who practice agriculture and animal husbandry as a way of life, with crops such as cassava, yams, bananas and beans. They also keep goats and sheep. They collect salt from Lake Katwe especially rocksalt, which is used by the Banyankole people in order to prepare a traditional sauce with ghee. The Banyankole are also involved in raising Ankole Cattle, a Slow Food Presidia.

      - the Batwa Pygmies are originally hunter-gatherers who lived in the forests of Bwindi, Mgahinga and Echuya in southwest Uganda, areas now marked as national parks and forest reserves. As a community they are involved in farming, especially of passionfruits, potatoes and beans. They also keep bees for honey. Other sources of income are through the sale of firewood and work as laborers.

      United States communities:

      - the Intertribal Native community (San Francisco Bay Area). This community consists of Tribal Nations from the United States, Canada and Mexico who, due to relocation, live in an urban environment. This community faces unique challenges in addressing the disparate traditions, understandings and world views originating from the many communities represented from across Native North America. They also work closely with organic farming communities, local colleges and community centers, including the Indian Valley Organic Farm & Garden in Marin, California; the Native American Health Center in San Francisco; and the Intertribal Friendship House in Oakland, CA, among others. 

      - the Colorado Plateau Inter Tribal Gatherings – Grand Canyon Trust. Provides direction to the work of the Native America Program at the Grand Canyon Trust to mitigate on-going climate change impacts on farming knowledge, food systems, economy and culture. It creates a traditional intertribal network of knowledge holders around watershed preservation and restoration, low-water farming, seed preservation, food making, gathering and locally derived and owned economies. 

      - the Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture (Kykotsmovi village, in northern Arizona on the Hopi Indian Reservation). A community group established in 2004 which initiates hands-on learning projects and trainings and offers workshops that support Hopi youth and community to develop the skills and practical experience needed to promote a more ecological and healthy Hopi community. They accomplish their goals and visions with the support of their villages, communities, families and youth in ways that honor the cultural ways and practices of their people. Their mission is to create community-based solutions in order to pass knowledge on to future generations and rebuild culturally sustainable and healthy communities.

      - the Navajo-Churro Sheep Presidia. The Navajo-Churro Sheep was brought by the Spaniards to Mexico in 1540. 50 years later, it had already spread overland to New Mexico. Over four hundred years, this multi-purpose breed adapted well to the arid plateaus and canyons of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado, living in a desert-like area while becoming central to the cultural life of the Navajo. The breed has risked extinction two times. The first instance occurred in 1863 when the Navajo were declared enemies of the United States. Later, in the 1890’s and again in the 1930s, government stock reduction programs nearly eradicated the breed. A number of grassroots organizations have joined forces to revive the pastoral livelihoods, traditional textile arts, and culinary skills associated with the Churro, and to create a market for its unique products.

      Representatives of several groups and organizations from the United States will also attend the event, including the International Indian Treaty Council – IITC (an organization of indigenous peoples from North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific, working for the sovereignty and self determination of indigenous peoples and the recognition and protection of indigenous rights, treaties, traditional cultures and sacred lands), the Hopi Food Co-op and the Natwani Coalition (working to strengthen the local food system and traditional farming and agricultural methods), the Taos County Economic Development Corp in New Mexico (a non-profit that supports agrigulture based opportunities through a community kitchen, mobile slaughterhouse, crop production, and educatiion), the Piki Tesuque Association(which works with youth and people already farming, developing educational programs in New Mexico, Arizona, Canada and Central America), the Traditional Native American Farmers Association TNAFA (whose membership is drawn mostly from “family-scale” native agriculture, both rural and urban), the OIDAG project (which teaches how to harvest traditional wild foods from the desert), REDOIL (which protects the ways of life of Alaskan peoples, for example by campaigning against harmful oil drilling) and the Diné Community Advocacy Alliance Denisa (globally recognized for several laws, the first of their kind in a food desert: Elimination of Tax on Healthy Foods, the Unhealthy Foods Tax and the Healthy Diné Nation Act of 2014, and a tax revenue allocation for Community Wellness Projects). 

      You can find the program of the event here: http://bit.ly/1LWZaxh

      Indigenous Terra Madre 2015 gratefully acknowledges funding support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), The Christensen Fund and the Government of Meghalaya. Indigenous Terra Madre 2015 is also thankful for the contributions made by Tamalpais TrustSwift FoundationAgroEcology FundBread for the World and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 

      Terra Madre is a worldwide network, launched by Slow Food in 2004, which unites small-scale producers from 163 countries involved in the sustainable production of food. Among these, to date the Indigenous Terra Madre Network comprises 372 indigenous food communities41 indigenous Presidia projects and 308 indigenous Ark of Taste products.  For more information: http://slowfood.com/international/149/indigenous-terra-madre-network

      Discover the stories of Indigenous Peoples from around the world on Slow Food website in the ‘Indigenous Voices’ section! http://www.slowfood.com/international/food-for-thought/slow-themes/260987 

      For further information, please contact the Slow Food International Press Office:
      Paola Nano, +39 329 8321285 p.nano@slowfood.it 
      Ajay Nayak, +91-9820535501 ajay@indigenousterramadre.org  

      Slow Food involves over a million of people dedicated to and passionate about good, clean and fair food. This includes chefs, youth, activists, farmers, fishers, experts and academics in over 158 countries; a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide (known as convivia), contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize; and over 2,500 Terra Madre food communities who practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.