Videos from Cooperating to Enhance Native American Food Economies Now Available
With nearly 300 program registrants and participation from high ranking USDA officials, cooperative CEO's, academics, and Native American leaders and producers, the Cooperating to Enhance Native American Food Economies concluded with a commitment that the Native American Agriculture Fund, NCBA CLUSA and CDF would work together to support further cooperative development in Indian Country.
NAAF Executive Director Toni Stanger-McLaughlin stated "I was inspired by our speakers, and we heard how some Tribes and individuals were able to form and expand cooperatives in their communities despite the added jurisdictional layer of Tribal Governing Authority. We know it can be done, we just need to create a space to share that knowledge and assist others interested in developing cooperatives in their communities as well as Regionally and Nationally service-based cooperatives."
Stanger-McLaughlin outlined next steps for advancing the exploration of expanding cooperatives in native communities including conducting a needs survey, educating Native Communities on the cooperative business model, creating space for discussion of special funding dedicated for Tribal cooperatives, and adding sessions on cooperatives to existing convenings or hosting a National Tribal Cooperative Conference.
"We know there is power in community, power in numbers and power in bringing our traditional beliefs and culture into the modern cooperative structure," concluded Stanger-McLaughlin.
Recordings of all presentations made during the August 2-5 event are available on the CDF website.