On June 17-19, 2011 Jokkmokk (Sápmi, Northern Sweden) will be hosting Indigenous Terra Madre, the international forum organized by Slow Food Säpmi, Slow Food i Sverige and Slow Food International. Local food systems, traditional knowledge, diversity of indigenous languages and conservation of agrobiodiversity will be the main themes of the debate.
The event will gather people from 31 countries, 70 different ethnic groups and 50 indigenous communities to exchange their expertise and raise a collective voice on how traditional knowledge and sustainable use of natural resources can contribute to developing good, clean and fair food systems and are a way to oppose environmental destruction and climate change. At Indigenous Terra Madre, the voice of three hundred Indigenous delegates will be heard, along with observers, politicians, journalists and decision makers.
The USA will be represented by part of the Navajo community and breeders of the Navajo Churro Sheep Slow Food Presidium. The Navajo population, who reside in an area which includes Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, have been instrumental in saving the native Churro sheep breed twice from extinction. For a full description, see the attached document.
The event is born from the Terra Madre network which, since 2004, unites small-scale producers from 163 countries involved in the sustainable production of food. Among these are many indigenous communities, often supported through Slow Food Presidia projects. These communities have preserved unique knowledge, skills, animal breeds, plant varieties and food preparations that risk being lost in the modern industrial production of food, but are crucial for their future and the future of humanity in general.