Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.


Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.


The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

Locally Caught Salmon Provide Step Toward Food Independence for WA Tribe


Monday, January 30, 2023   

Under a new project, locally sourced food is part of a food assistance program for members of the Lummi Tribe in northwest Washington.

The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations is a federal program providing meals in the form of commodity boxes for low income residents. But food boxes have neglected to include culturally relevant food for the diversity of reservations across the country, instead providing options like catfish and buffalo.

Lummi Nation is part of a pilot providing a locally caught option: sockeye salmon.

Billy Metteba, food sovereignty project manager for the Lummi Nation, said salmon is food his ancestors ate and members of the tribe know how to prepare, unlike buffalo.

"Shifting the mind frame, the mindset to food sovereignty, we should be in charge of saying what is appropriate for our people," Metteba asserted.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded eight tribes, including the Lummi Nation, $3.5 million for a demonstration project to provide local food options to the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations. This fall, sockeye salmon became available for the northwest Washington tribe.

The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations is meant to supplement meals for participating households. However, a 2016 study found the program was the sole or primary source of food for 40% of those households.

Jake Garcia, public policy manager for Northwest Harvest, said many folks from the Lummi Nation have spoken to his organization about the program's inadequacies.

"The economic insecurity that they experience, the food insecurity certainly; all these different pieces are indicators for economic success," Garcia explained. "They're directly tied to your food and so when that program is insufficient and not meeting the needs of the folks on the reservation, that's a real problem."

But Metteba acknowledged the allowance for more locally sourced foods in the program is a good sign.

"When they funded this program it's like giving us access to go out and harvest our own food that we've always harvested for as long as I can remember, for as long as my grandparents can remember," Metteba emphasized. "It's important that we pass this down to our kids because without this, without fighting for something, it eventually will be lost."

The original demonstration project was funded through the 2018 Farm Bill. Tribal leaders across the country hope lawmakers in Congress will broaden the project in the 2023 Farm Bill.

Disclosure: Northwest Harvest contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues, and Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The VOTES Act also ensures the Commonwealth joins the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a multi-state consortium which aims to keep voter registration rolls up to date, encourage voter registration and prevent voter fraud. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting rights advocates in Massachusetts are applauding Governor Maura Healey's budgetary backing of new policies stemming from last year's passage of…


Climate-change groups are calling attention to the environmental destruction linked to the wood pellet industry - even as California is considering a …

Social Issues

Many Nebraskans know how crucial a family caregiver is to one of their family members. Now AARP research has put a dollar value on that unpaid care - …

Going back generations, many Indigenous cultures developed strong ties with bison and relied upon them for sustenance, shelter, and cultural and religious practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

South Dakota is home to one of the nation's largest American Indian reservations, and the area is part of a movement among tribal nations to take …

Health and Wellness

As the cost of food, medicine and rent continues to climb, new data shows the benefits miners receive are now 40% less than what they received in 1969…

Stedman farmer Demi Tucker has been growing mushrooms on her family's land for the past few years. (Demi Tucker)


With the cost of farmland up by more than 8% percent in North Carolina, the state's Black farmers are struggling to purchase additional acreage or …


By Zachary Shepherd and Kelsey Paulus for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Co…

Social Issues

Republican-sponsored bills and amendments in the Legislature would eliminate the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. More than 1.5-million …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021