Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre 2014 Presents The Indigenous Terra Madre Network
300 indigenous Terra Madre delegates join in the biggest Slow Food event to present their artisanal products, cook in the Terra Madre Kitchen, tell their stories, and speak in conferences about indigenous issues.
Slow Food works closely together with Indigenous Peoples, to learn from their wisdom, affront their problems, and support them in maintaining their food and cultural heritage. This is also the reason why they constitute a remarkable number within the Terra Madre network, which includes 372 indigenous food communities, 50 indigenous Presidia products, and 347 indigenous Ark of Taste products.
Indigenous Peoples and the problems they face in their attempt to continue their traditional practices, as well as the solutions that they can offer in times of climate change for example, are taking an important role within the program of Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre 2014, to be held in Turin, Italy, from October 23-27. Indigenous tribes are exemplary protectors of biodiversity, ancient knowledge, customs and cultures, yet they are often subject to land grabbing, exploitation, the displacement of communities and abandonment by younger generations who are moving to cities.
Premiering at Salone del Gusto is the Indigenous Terra Madre Network Room, financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and The Christensen Fund. It constitutes a space allocated to the stories, pressing issues and traditions of indigenous peoples, which for the first time has acquired its own dedicated area at Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre. The room offers a daily program of various seminars and workshops in which several representatives from the Indigenous Terra Madre network talk about their experiences in relation to land, food production, food sovereignty, gender, climate change, wellbeing and happiness. The program has been developed in collaboration with Mr. Phrang Roy, Slow Food International Councilor for indigenous issues, and director of the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty.
Among the interesting sessions in the Indigenous Terra Madre Network Room are a session on Indigenous Peoples and the UN (Thursday 23 at 12:30 pm), Nutrition Security (Thursday 23 at 5 pm), Indigenous Peoples as Custodians of Sustainable Food Systems (Friday 24 at 11 am), Taste Innovation (Friday 24 at 1 pm), Food, Medicine, and Spirituality (Saturday 25 at 11 am), Food and Seed Sovereignty/Security (Saturday 25 at 1 pm), Wellbeing and Happiness (Saturday 25 at 5 pm), the Indigenous Terra Madre 2015 event in India (Sunday 26 at 1 pm), and Traditional Storytelling (Monday 27 at 11 am). Every evening between 6:30 and 9:00 pm the room hosts the Indigenous Voices sessions, a free space for delegates to tell their often-unheard stories and further voice their opinions on already-discussed topics. These sessions are followed by musical contributions from 9 pm till the closing of the event at 11 pm.
The event will also host a conference on indigenous topics: Local Food & Economies for Sustainable Development, Lessons from Indigenous Terra Madre communities (Saturday, October 25, 3 pm)
Representatives of Terra Madre’s indigenous and native peoples will meet. Experts in resources from the sea, forests and mountains and the guardians of land and age-old traditions, they are also the very communities most affected by the consequences of the mismanagement of our planet’s resources which include pollution, the standardization of consumption, climate change and economic choices. The conference yields a great opportunity for non-indigenous visitors to gain new perspectives on issues concerning indigenous peoples around the world. The conference will be chaired by Phrang Roy. Myrna Cunningham, ex-chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and currently president of CADPI (Centro para la autonomía y desarrollo de pueblos indígenas), will give the keynote speech. Among the other speakers to share their thoughts on the topic are Antonella Cordone, Coordinator for Indigenous and Tribal Issues at IFAD; Joel Simo (Vanuatu) of the Aneityum community; Roy Kady (USA), herder of the Navajo Churro Sheep Presidium; Obadias Batista Garcia (Brazil), coordinator of the two Presidia of the Sateré Mawé indigenous community (Native Bees’ Honey and Native Waranà); and other Terra Madre representatives from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Furthermore, an indigenous chef, Mirriam Moteane Sekamotho (Lesotho), will be cooking her traditional dishes and presenting authentic recipes at the Terra Madre Kitchen during the event. Sekamotho is a chef, qualified cookbook author, and entrepreneur passionate about family, food, love, and life.
The participation of a notable number of Indigenous Terra Madre delegates underlines the essential role they take on within the Slow Food network. This is why in 2011 Slow Food launched an event that is entirely dedicated to indigenous peoples, Indigenous Terra Madre. Organized by Slow Food, the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty, and the North East Slow Food & Agrobiodiversity Society, the second edition will be held in Meghalaya, northeast India, in October 2015, and is made possible thanks to the support of IFAD, the Christensen Fund, and the government of Meghalaya.