Decolonizing Regenerative Agriculture
Thursday, September 3, 2020, 12 pm, Mountain
Regenerative agriculture has increased in popularity over the past decade; however, the methods are not new – they are rooted in sustainable practices cultivated by Indigenous people over thousands of years. Yet, there are differences that impact how Indigenous communities are involved and lead this work. While regenerative agriculture is being promoted as a means of restoring soil health and biodiversity, it is often focused on tweaking existing farming practices rather than driving transformational changes that are needed for a truly regenerative system. While Indigenous practices similarly achieve such goals, their focus is on maintaining long-standing relationships between land, water, people, plants, and animals, rather than specific outputs. Indigenous communities are confronting the legacy of Western programming and funding models that have subsidized unsustainable agricultural practices, disrupted traditional trade networks, and constrained sacred relationships.
To understand how the movement of regenerative agriculture can be decolonized and redirected to help restore Indigenous food systems, join First Nations Development Institute’s A-Dae Romero-Briones and Regenerative Agriculture Foundation’s Executive Director Mark Muller, for a 45-minute presentation, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers. Speakers will review trends in food and agriculture that have laid the foundation of regenerative agriculture, deconstruct regenerative agriculture to understand how it differs from Indigenous traditional systems, and discuss opportunities for more inclusive approaches to regenerative agriculture that support Indigenous communities.
A-dae Romero-Briones, Director of Programs – Native Agriculture and Food Systems, First Nations Development Institute (Cochiti/Kiowa)
About A-dae Romero-Briones
A-dae became Director of Programs, Native Agriculture and Food Systems, in 2017 after first joining First Nations as Associate Director of Research and Policy for Native Agriculture. She formerly was the Director of Community Development for Pūlama Lāna‘i in Hawaii, and is also the co-founder and former Executive Director of a nonprofit organization in Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. A-dae worked for the University of Arkansas School of Law Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative while earning her LL.M. degree in Food and Agricultural Law. Her thesis was on the Food Safety Modernization Act as it applied to the federal-tribal relationship. She wrote extensively about food safety, the Produce Safety rule and tribes, and the protection of tribal traditional foods. A U.S. Fulbright Scholar, A-dae received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from Princeton University, and received a Law Doctorate from Arizona State University’s College of Law, in addition to her LL.M. degree in Food and Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas.
Mark Muller, Executive Director, Regenerative Agriculture Foundation
About Mark Muller
Mark recently joined the Regenerative Agriculture Foundation as their new Executive Director. Prior to this, Mark worked at the McKnight Foundation where he served for over six years as program director of the Mississippi River program. He has spent most of his career working to help transform our agricultural and food systems, starting with part-time jobs while in college supporting farmworkers, providing Integrated Pest Management services to farmers, and spending a season on a diversified organic vegetable farm. Mark has a BA in physics and a MA in environmental engineering. He and his spouse have three children and have lived in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis for the past 20 years. They are part owners of a family farm in Iowa.