Amplifying Indigenous Voices: The SFIPs Structure

Indigenous people hold prominent positions in the Slow Food movement and are well represented within Slow Food governance structures. 

Indigenous representatives have been elected to the International Council, Youth Network Advisory Board, and the Slow Fish network, championing their communities through their participation and advocacy work. Slow Food associations in countries including Kenya, USA, Japan and Brazil have also welcomed Indigenous representatives within their decision-making bodies, promoting inclusivity and fostering diversity. 

Since the Advisory Board was established in 2018 it has played a vital role in shaping the network’s vision and activities, speaking on behalf of Indigenous peoples within Slow Food and fostering its networking initiatives.

In 2022, Dali Nolasco Cruz, a young Indigenous woman from Mexico, was elected to the Slow Food Board of Directors, marking a significant moment in the movement’s history. This was also the year in which the entity was renamed the « Slow Food Indigenous Peoples Network » (SFIPsN), highlighting its commitment to Indigenous voices, cultures, and aspirations. Indigenous-led Slow Food associations have also emerged in India, Sweden, and Turtle Island, further strengthening the global movement.

Regular international events, such as Indigenous Terra Madre, serve as vital platforms for Indigenous Peoples to connect, share their wisdom and shape the discourse within Slow Food, solidifying their integral role within our global movement.

  • The Advisory Board

    The Advisory Board of the Slow Food Indigenous Peoples Network is formed of Indigenous leaders from around the world. Since its establishment in 2018, the board has played a crucial role in shaping the network’s vision and activities, enhancing its networking capabilities, connecting with new communities and speaking as a unified voice on behalf of Indigenous Peoples within the Slow Food movement.

    Dali Nolasco Cruz

    Nahua from Tlaola – Mexico, Slow Food Board of Directors

    Dali is a Nahua Indigenous woman born in 1988 in Tlaola, Mexico, where she lives. She has long been deeply involved in community work, accompanying Indigenous and peasant communities in organized work, facilitating workshops on individual and collective rights and gender issues, and leadership processes for women and youth. She was among the founders of the organization Timo’Patla and of the social economy enterprise Mopampa. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Psychology of the Autonomous University of Puebla and of the Carlos III University of Madrid, where she obtained a degree in Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and International Cooperation. Since 2008, Dali has been an active member of Slow Food, becoming the referent of the Tlaola Serrano Chili Presidium and the coordinator of the Slow Food Network of Indigenous Peoples for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017. She is passionate about education and advocacy, being convinced that bringing these two areas together allows indigenous peoples to empower themselves and defend their territories, their knowledge, their identity, their seeds, their food systems and their lives.

    Margaret Tunda Lepore,

    Maasai from Nakuru – Kenya, Slow Food International Councilor for Indigenous Peoples

    Tunda Lepore is a member of the Maasai peoples, playing a key role in advocating for the preservation of positive cultural practices in the Maasai community. She holds a degree in Development Studies from Busoga University in Uganda and a Master in International Studies from The University of Nairobi. Having lived and witnessed the challenges faced by minority communities in Kenya, she realized that these communities should be supported to ensure that their rights to land and natural resources are protected and their voices heard. She is currently collaborating with Slow Food to conserve and promote the red Maasai sheep, a local breed. As a senior case manager at Ngong Road Children Association, she plays an important role in promoting access to education for disadvantaged children and in empowering communities while ensuring that they have access to healthy and nutritious food.  [AA1]  

    Dai Kitabayashi,

    Loochoo from Myako – Japan, Slow Food International Councilor for Indigenous Peoples

    Dai Kitabayashi is a member of the Loochoo (Ryukyu) Indigenous people from Okinawa, Japan. Since 2018, he serves as Advisory Board member of the Slow Food Indigenous Peoples Network, tirelessly supporting the development of the network, especially in Asia Pacific and in Japan. Dai played a leading role of organizing Indigenous Terra Madre Asia and Pan-Pacific event in 2019, also facilitated several Slow Food trainings for the Asia Pacific Indigenous Peoples’ network, as well as grassroots level actions to support food-culture-biodiversity with the Ainu and Loochoo (Ryukyu) peoples. He is currently working as a Regional Project Manager for Miyako islands and developing a system to circulate the local food production and consumption. He also works on human resources development for a sustainable society. As a 2019 is fellow of the Indigenous Fellowship Programme by UN-OHCHR, he brings to the Council his knowledge on Indigenous Peoples rights and international mechanisms to defend human rights.[AA2] 

    Nicolas Mukumo Mushumbi,

    Bambuti from Goma – Democratic Republic of Congo, member for Indigenous peoples in Africa

    A member of the Bambuti people of the Kivu forest in the north east of the D.R.C, Nicolas is the leader of the Slow Food Goma Karisimbi convivium and an active member of the Ark of Taste and 10.000 Gardens in Africa projects. He is part of the Steering Committee that organized Terra Madre Great Lakes event, and is committed to defending the rights of indigenous peoples in D.R.C, promoting the sustainable use of resources, opposing land grabbing and using food as a means of peace building among communities.

     Minelia Xiu,

    Maya from Mama Yucatan – Mexico, member for Indigenous peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean

    Work in progress

    Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray,

    Mohawk from Akwesasne and New Mexico, member for Indigenous peoples in Turtle Island

    She has a diverse background, beginning with a Masters in Project Management. She has been working to protect traditional seeds and foods for the last 20 years. She has been a delegate of Terra Madre 2006, 2010, and 2016 in Torino Italy, Indigenous Terra Madre 2015 in Shillong, India, and the International Congress in Chengdu, China in September,  2017. She co-founded Kanenhi:io Ionkwaienthonhakie (We Are Planting Good Seeds), in the Mohawk Community of Akwesasne, in New York, which built a substantial community greenhouse, established a community farmers’ market on the reservation, and supports the Akwesasne Freedom School, community gardens, and individual family farms. Gray is now living in New Mexico, and is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute, working with youth and elders to protect and revive traditions in agriculture and sustainable living in South America and throughout Turtle Island. She has worked with such well known activists as Vandana Shiva, Percy Schmeiser, Oscar Olivera, Jeffrey Smith, Winona LaDuke, Paul Stamets, and Andrew Kimbrell to educate and motivate people into action in protecting our Mother Earth against environmental contamination.

    Kung Lien-Xiu,

    Amis from Hualien – Taiwan, member for Indigenous peoples in Asia and Pacific Regions

    Kung Lien-Xu is a member of Taiwan’s Amis Indigenous community. She holds a Master’s in Food Culture, Communication and Marketing from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, where she discovered the alignment between Slow Food principles and her Indigenous culture. She interned with Slow Food International, contributing to the organization of the Indigenous Terra Madre Asia and Pan-Pacific event in 2019, and the importance of sharing, dialogue, and friendship among communities. She then became the Coordinator of Slow Food in Taiwan, collaborating with the  Indigenous Slow Food community in Hualien with various projects, such as an international exchange program, Indigenous Terra Madre in Hualien that invited APR delegates. She also owns Amis Ugoods, a shop promoting indigenous food culture and Slow Food values. Kung Lien-Xu represents Asia and the Pacific on the Slow Food Indigenous Peoples Network Advisory Board, organizing training sessions for indigenous communities on intergenerational knowledge transmission and food heritage promotion. 

    Ochen Umar Bashir

    Karamoja from Karamoja – Uganda, member for Indigenous peoples in Africa

    Ochen is a youth leader and community organizer from the Karamojong Indigenous agro-pastoralist community of northeastern Uganda. He promotes Indigenous peoples’ rights, youth empowerment and youth governance in his capacity as the coordinator for the Karamoja Indigenous Youth Network (KIYONET), advisory board member of the Indigenous Terra Madre organization, and technical advisor for the Slow Food Youth Network, Uganda. As an agronomist with a passion for the production, consumption and marketing of food, Ochen has been a key figure in spearheading cultural heritage and the promotion and dissemination of traditional knowledge in scalable sustainable development projects. 

    Luis Francisco Prieto

    Slow Food’s Focal Point for Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendant Communities

    Born in Argentina, Luis Francisco Prieto moved to Italy at the age of 19 to study for a Master’s in Development, Environment and International Cooperation followed by a Master’s in Cooperative Enterprises Management. He wrote his thesis on agroecology, food sovereignty and the cooperative movement, and transformed this passion into a profession when he joined Slow Food in 2015. Since then he has been the focal point for the global network of Indigenous Peoples’ and Afro-descendant communities across 86 countries.

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