We have a covenant w/ creation to carry on our responsibility, as those who have two legs, in relationship to our relatives that have fins, wing, hooves, and roots. And so we have this food. Manoomin, which means "the most wonderous seed." This food is a central part of our culture as Anishinaabeg people. We have cared for those rice beds, for our lakes and rivers for as long as we have been Anishinaabeg.
When the University of Minnesota cracked the DNA sequence for Wild Rice, that set us up for genetic engineering and genetic contamination. One of our chiefs said, "Who gave them permission?" And that is the ethical question, isn't it? Who gave anybody rights to change the DNA sequence of life forms?
I didn't understand what seed slavery was until I met up with Monsanto. And then I understood why we had to ensure that they did not patent our rice and they didn't own it. And so, we as indigenous people have formed this indigenous seed sovereignty coalition; with us are the taro farmers of Hawaii, who are saying taro is our relative and you can not patent it. Our relatives in New Mexico look at protecting the indigenous corn varieties as their relatives. These are essential parts of who we are.
Our traditional foods, those really old indigenous varieties, are much higher in antioxidants, fiber, amino acids than anything you can buy at the store. Those foods are medicine. those old biologically diverse seed stocks have the ability to adapt and will make it through climate destabilization. If we want to feed our people, we have to go back to our original heritage varieties, those original relatives that have roots.
~Winona LaDuke, Bioneers 2007 Conference, October 19-21, reprinted in the We'Moon 09 Calendar
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."