Indigenous Terra Madre (ITM) is a network of indigenous communities, partners and organizations. It was born out of the wider Terra Madre network to bring indigenous peoples’ voices to the forefront of the debate on food and culture, to institutionalize indigenous peoples’ participation in the Slow Food movement and its projects as well as to develop both regional and global networks.

ITM shares the Slow Food and Terra Madre philosophy of good, clean and fair food as a human right, and consequently accepts that we have a responsibility to protect the heritage, tradition and culture that makes this possible.

As was stated in the Shillong Declaration, ITM encourages communities, including youth, to increase their consumption of local foods, both cultivated and collected, to keep people healthy and nutritionally secure, and encourages chefs to use native plants and animal breeds to prepare gourmet meals, thereby educating consumers.

ITM advocates for the continued custody by indigenous peoples of their native lands, so that they may maintain them and the great variety of seeds, animal breeds, fish, bees and other living organisms they host.

In numbers

At present, ITM involves thousands of individuals in over 370 communities in 86 countries around the world. More than 700 indigenous products are already on the Ark of Taste and over 50 Slow Food Presidia are run by indigenous communities. Several indigenous chefs are also active in the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance.

A group of indigenous leaders representing all geographic areas of the globe is currently working with Slow Food and its partners to create an indigenous-led governance structure.

Focal Point: Francisco Prieto

Indigenous Terra Madre Network Facebook Group

Advisory Board

ITM has an Advisory Board! This is great news for our network. After a long process of consultations, we have created a global round table of indigenous leaders. It is an initial governance experiment towards 2020. The Advisory Board’s (AB) main goal is to contribute to the design and implementation of the ITM Road Map towards 2020: to (1) connect, (2) raise awareness, and (3) act. The AB will then work to strengthen our networking and bridge with new communities, as well as to speak as a unified voice on behalf of indigenous peoples within the network.

The ITM AB is composed of seven members from all continents plus the two Slow Food International Councillors for the Indigenous Peoples’ network. The result is a nine-member team, balanced in gender, age, and geographic regions. Please, learn more about the AB members and contact the one in your area: profiles and bios.


Denisa Livingston (Turtle Island – USA)
International Councillor for the Indigenous Network
A member of the Diné people, representing the Global North. Denisa is a Steering Committee member of the Slow Food Turtle Island Association, and is committed to addressing the diabetes epidemic (with both advocacy and awareness raising activities), the dominant culture of unhealthy foods, and the lack of access to healthy food in the Navajo Nation. She is a member of several organizations linking the topics of young farmers, sugar and diabetes, native truth etc.


Nicolas Mukumo Mushumbi
International Councillor for the Indigenous Network
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 convivum 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.


Dalí Nolasco Cruz
ITM Advisory Board Member (Latin America and The Caribbean)
Dali comes from the Nahua peoples of Tlaola, Puebla. She is an active member of Slow Food in Mexico for the defense and promotion of native seeds, food, territories, and indigenous biodiversity. She is the leader of the Slow Food TlaolaKukuk Convivium and coordinator of the Tlaola Serrano Chili Pepper Slow Food Presidium. She is the Director of the Timo’Patla Intercultural Organization A.C. and Mopampa, a network of social and solidarity economy companies of indigenous women. Furthermore, Dali facilitates trainings for women, youth, and children on topics including rights, gender, and interculturalism.


Margaret Tunda Lepore
ITM Advisory Board Member (East Africa)
A member of the Maasai peoples, Margaret plays a key role in advocating for the preservation of positive cultural practices in the Maasai community.  She is currently collaborating with Slow Food to conserve and promote the local Red Maasai Sheep.She holds a degree in Development Studies from Busoga University in Uganda and a Master in International Studies from The University of Nairobi. 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.  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.


Melissa K. Nelson
ITM Advisory Board Member (Turtle Island, Canada and USA)
Melissa K. Nelson Ph.D. is Anishinaabe, Cree, Métis, and Norwegian, and a proud member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. She is a partner of the Slow Food Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) project and a founding member of the Slow Food Turtle Island Association. Melissa is a professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University and is the president/CEO of The Cultural Conservancy, a Native-led indigenous rights organization that she has directed since 1993. She is an activist on indigenous rights and revitalization, biocultural heritage protection and environmental justice, intercultural solidarity, and the renewal and celebration of community health and cultural arts.  She has been involved in the Native American food movement in North America and the indigenous food sovereignty movement internationally. Melissa is a Switzer Environmental Fellow and has published essays in popular academic journals and books.


Anneli Jonsson
ITM Advisory Board Member (Europe)
Anneli Jonsson belongs to the Idre Sámi Sita people of Sweden. She was born in a family of Sámi nomadic full-time reindeer herders in Idre. Anneli is the chairperson of the Slow Food Sápmi Association, which in 2011 hosted the first Indigenous Terra Madre event in Jokkmokk. Educated in economic studies, she has been working as a development manager at Pfizer Inc. in Sweden. Since 1996, she has been responsible for developingSámi Sita in Idre. In 1990, the southernmost Sámi reindeer herding area was claimed in court by landowners, which erased the historic presence of the Sámi the area. Anneli’s activism made it possible for the reindeer herders to learn economics and business management in reindeer economy and led to the establishment of a Sámi center for educating people in industrial and traditional slaughter of reindeer and elk, with a licence from the Sweden’s Agriculture department and in cooperation with the Swedish hunter’s association Svenska Jägareförbundet.


Dai Kitabayashi
ITM Advisory Board Member (East Asia)
Dai Kitabayashi is a freelance eco-tourism advisor focused on local food culture and sustainable development. As a youth lead of Slow Food Ryukyu, he developed a network among local food producers and consumers by organizing the Slow Food Festival in Okinawa.


Raja Sharma Rymbai
ITM Advisory Board Member (Southeast Asia)
Raja is member of the Jaintia people from Meghalaya, India, and an international journalist. He has a Master in Food Culture & Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy, and currently works at Slow Food International to support the development of the Slow Food network in India. He has been instrumental in highlighting the work of indigenous cooks and chefs in the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance. He is committed to defending the rights of indigenous peoples in Southeast Asia by working with youth & food communities to promote sustainability and enhanced livelihood through indigenous knowledge.


Joel Simo
ITM Advisory Board Member (Melanesia)
A post-graduate from Australian National University, Joel, from the Vanuatu people, currently heads the Land and Language Desk at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre, working mostly with the local communities in Vanuatu and in the region of Melanesia on land and language issues. He is active in the Slow Food movement and in promoting traditional irrigation systems in order to increase local peoples’ appreciation for their traditional farming systems, which have worked well for thousands of years. Joel was key in organizing the Tupunis Slow Food Festival in 2016. He has helped to raise awareness on land issues through the creation of pamphlets, brochures, and video, and has written several papers on land issues in Vanuatu. He is an advocate for traditional land in Melanesia to remain under the traditional tenure system. He has worked in the region for well over a decade raising awareness on traditional economy and the importance of land in the lives of the indigenous population, as well as on issues related to resilience, sovereignty, and climate change in island states.



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