Healthy Land, Healthy Food, Healthy People: A Cochiti Invitation

Food is the umbilical cord that ensures community and people are nourished by our motherlands and, in turn, we nourish her.

Healthy Land, Healthy Food, Healthy People: A Cochiti Invitation to Join Us at the Table

By A-dae Romero Briones

This article is the fifth in a series of articles published by NPQ, in partnership with First Nations Development Institute (First Nations), that lift up Native American voices to highlight issues concerning environmental justice in Indian Country and identify ways that philanthropy might more effectively support this work.

For the Cochiti Pueblo, food is central to our culture, community, and who we are as a people and as individuals. When our lands suffer from environmental damage, pollution, or a shift in the climate, we can feel the changes in our bodies and in our health. As a result, we respond through practice to our understandings of our world and stewardship of the environment around us, and we adjust while adding to the collective memory we pass on to the next generation of Cochiti people.

In present times, the cycle of call and response with our environment has been disrupted through lack of access to our traditional homelands, disregard for Indigenous stewardship practices, and Western ideas of nature being separate from human community. Consequently, when our environment calls loudly like in times of a pandemic, we humble ourselves to listen and respond to the call with equal vigor.