Food and Medicines


What is Food Sovereignty?


Food sovereignty means to exercise autonomy in all territorial spaces: countries, regions, cities and rural communities. Food sovereignty is only possible if it takes place at the same time as political sovereignty of all peoples. ~ Declaration of the Forum for Food Sovereignty, Nyéléni 2007:5

Food Sovereignty wordcloud tree


We believe that food sovereignty is the ability to feed ourselves and feed ourselves well. It is a state of being in which our community is able to have a safe, culturally acceptable, and nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that promotes community self-reliance and social justice throughout the 1842 Treaty ceded-territory. Our territory is a rich and vast garden where foods and medicines abound throughout our forest and water landscape.


Practicing food sovereignty within the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) is about being Anishinaabe Ojibwa. Since time immemorial, our story is and has always been focused on cultivating and protecting relationships within ecosystems and between humans and beings of all kinds. We have endured a long and detrimental history yet our identity as a people survives. We are hunters, fishers, and gatherers; we share our harvests and our knowledge with each other. We envision the restoration of honorable harvesting across our landscape, and in doing so, we aim to strengthen food sovereignty for our community and all our relatives.


Today, food sovereignty education and outreach initiatives are critical to restoring and strengthening the KBIC – all activities of the KBIC Natural Resources Department promote the sovereignty of our nation. We invite you to learn more about what our department is doing to promote food sovereignty practices by exploring these resources:


Food Sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems ~ La Via Campensina, 2007


U.P. Food Exchange Directory (Baraga County | Houghton County)

Guidance and Teachings  

A Portfolio for Community Workshops:  Debweyendan Indigenous Gardens (DIGs) 2020
Gagnon, Valoree S, and Evelyn H Ravindran, Karena Schmidt, Rachael Pressley, Kelly Kamm, Erika Vye (2020). ResearchGate, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.17824.00004. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department. This is Contribution No. 77 of the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University. 

Program Evaluation: A Report for Debweyendan Indigenous Gardens (DIGs) (Jan, 2021)

Food Sovereignty: A Food Summit presentation

Treaties, Indigenous Knowledge, Plant Teachings and Cultural Uses of Plants Recognized by the Anishinaabe of the Great Lakes Region

Treaties, Indigenous Knowledge, Plant Teachings and Cultural Uses of Plants Recognized by Indigenous Peoples

Wetlands are the Keepers of our Living Medicines

Manoomin Camp 2019

Indigenous Food Sovereignty: Conservation you can taste

cover of DIGS portfolio


This STORY MAP highlights the goals, knowledge shared, and outcomes of the Debweyendan (“believe in it) Indigenous Garden (DIGs) initiative. Enjoy our story! 

Gagnon, V. S., Ravindran, E. H., Schmidt, K., Pressley, R., Kamm, K., and Vye, E. C., ResearchGate, DOI: Debweyendan(“Believe in it”) Indigenous Gardens (DIGs) Story Map (2020),10.13140/RG.2.2.17987.84002. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department; Contribution No. 78 of the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University.





Gardens, Plants, and Soils

Companion Plants poster

A diverse garden is an abundant garden!

Companion Plants chart

A detailed guide to finding your plants' friends and foes

You Can Dig it!

Getting to know the soils living in our gardens

Plant Nutrient Deficiencies

When your plants need vitamins!

Debweyendan (“believe in it”) Indigenous Gardens (DIGs)


Bemaadizijig Ogitigaaniwaa (“Peoples’ Garden”)

Featuring: hoop house, small fruits and tree orchard, beehives, medicinal plot, forest recovery, seed orchard and pollinator plots!

Native Plants, Animals, and Manidoosheg


Delicious fruits of our homeland

Living in the Land of Dark Fruits

Ode'imin, Shkiizhigomin, Miskwimin, Isawemin & more!

Guidelines to Help Identify Mushrooms

Don't be afraid, but be careful!


Mushrooms to Celebrate the Spring

Puhpohwee People

A narrative account of fungi uses among the Anishinaabeg

Puffball Poem

by Dana Richter


Witty conversationalists?

Orchids of the Keweenaw

Beauty in the Balance

Common Bee Identification Guide

Ten common groups of beneficial bees

Importance of Insects

Fact sheet from

Manidoosheg Make it all Possible

Lessons from native plants & their pollinators

Native Plant Species

Beautiful pictures, descriptions, Ojibwe & Latin names

Much More on Native Plants

Medicines and Recipes

A Guide to the Four Medicines for All People

Giizhik, Asemaa, Wiingashk, Mashkodewashk

Asemaa and medicines

List of plant names in Ojibwemowin

Honor the Earth: Sacred Tobacco

Ponoka Walker interviewed by Winona LaDuke

Karena's Teas

Rethink Your Drink! A handy and beautiful booklet of teas

Salsa Recipes

Good things to know about tomatoes

Morel Recipes

Fancy AND Delicious!

Crabapple Vinegar/Sauce Recipes

From the Decolonizing Diet cookbook

Decolonization Diet Project (NMU)

A unique exploratory study


The communal love of place creates a different world of action. ~ Robin Wall Kimmerer in The Intelligence in All Kinds of Life


Communities across the globe are engaged in food sovereignty activities – practices to restore and protect their local environments, economies, and cultures. Understanding food sovereignty is about getting to know place and people – histories and genealogies, human-environment relationships, and justice and ethics, as well as ecologies, economics, policy, technologies and more. To learn more about food sovereignty in our region, please visit these multi-media resources:

The Ways - Stories on Language and Culture

Ogichidaa Storytellers

Western U.P. Food Systems Council

When can we eat the fish?

Great Lakes Now - Buffalo Reef Restoration

More Food Sovereignty Multimedia Resources


Food sovereignty asserts the need for sovereignty within sovereignty. ~ Audra Simpson 2014:10