Indigenous Terra Madre
“Indigenous communities are those that produce food in the same way as their great-great-great grandparents. They know how to live off their land, taking care of the soil, the water an the air. This is the future of food, because within 50 years we will no longer be able to eat the polluted food of industrial agriculture and we will only be able to feed ourselves if we take care of Mother Earth.”
Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe), USA
“If you look at a map of global agrobiodiversity hotspots you soon realize that they are identical with indigenous peoples’ habitats.”
It is clear that supporting indigenous communities and their traditional food systems means preserving the world’s biodiversity. The Indigenous Terra Madre (ITM) network was born to bring indigenous peoples’ voices to the forefront of the debate on food and culture and to institutionalize indigenous peoples’ participation in the Slow Food movement, as an integral part of the larger Terra Madre network.
Slow Food believes that defending biodiversity also means defending cultural diversity. The rights of indigenous peoples to control their land, to grow food and breed livestock, to hunt, fish and gather according to their own needs and decisions is fundamental in order to protect their livelihoods and defend the biodiversity of native animal breeds and plant varieties.
The survival of indigenous peoples is proof of the resilience of these traditional societies, held together by their identity—their cultures, languages and traditions are linked to geographical areas and the historical links with the environment that they inhabit and depend on.
Today, indigenous peoples are fighting against land and water grabbing, cultural erosion, social discrimination and economic marginalization. The partnership between ITM communities and Slow Food confronts these issues by promoting indigenous food systems that are good, clean and fair.
During Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018, indigenous delegates from the Slow Fish network came together to discuss the various effects that climate change is already having on indigenous fishing communities all over the world. Panelists spoke about the challenges that their communities face and the progress that they’ve made.
Rolando Diego Manzano Rado is an indigenous Aimara man from Visiviri in Chile’s north. A vet and a llama and alpaca breeder, Rolando wants to stop the drain of youth from his community and is hoping that a political change will be the catalyst needed to revitalise his home and entice the emigrated youth to return.
Claudia is a Pipil woman from El Salvador, an inidgenous people fighting for rights within their country. Despite the difficulty that they face, Claudia has noticed a change within her community, as more and more members are standing up for their rights, with a real belief that they can and will effect change.