Our first “Tourism, Agriculture & Natural Resources” issue is hot off the presses and shipping across the world to thousands of subscribers, as well as to Tribal government offices, and the headquarters of major corporations, Tribal businesses, Native organizations, and to every member of Congress.
Our seventh edition of Native Business Magazine is rooted in the very foundation of Tribal sovereignty and resiliency: harvesting food and natural resources to thrive, while conserving the ecosystem and respecting Indigenous lands. We also turn our sights to tourism, given many Tribal reservations are off-the-beaten path for destination travel, to showcase Tribes that have built entertainment meccas in remote regions and those that offer visitors the unique opportunity to witness nature’s pristine, untouched beauty.
Our June issue is ambitious, and our cover subject is a testament to that. “Chairman Mark N. Fox not only recognized the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation’s potential to replicate the agricultural success of the Netherlands, he took it a step further, bridging a cross-continent, nation-to-nation alliance to facilitate critical knowledge share that will empower his Tribe to bring his vision for food sovereignty and self-reliance to fruition,” said Gary Davis (Cherokee Nation), Founder, Publisher and CEO of Native Business Magazine.
Our June cover story dives deep into the focus of the Native Business-produced documentary short film titled “Food Sovereignty,” which debuted at our recent Native Business Summit. The film is also available for streaming on Native Business Magazine’s YouTube channel. The film, and our cover story, feature the highlights of the MHA Nation delegation’s trip in March to meet with the Dutch Ministry and greenhouse agriculturalists across the Netherlands. Chairman Fox shares his Tribe’s plans to grow a sustainable food system and economy modeled after the Netherlands’ cutting-edge solutions. Chairman Fox’s message consistently emphasizes the core ethos behind the food sovereignty movement: that to be truly sovereign, we must feed ourselves.
Inside Our June “Tourism, Agriculture & Natural Resources” Issue:
Our June issue gets the download on how the Native American Agriculture Fund, established as part of the Keepseagle vs. Vilsack lawsuit settlement, will approach distributing its trust fund of $266 million over the next two decades to serve the Native American farming and ranching community.
We also cover the Intertribal Agriculture Council’s (IAC) solution to counter rising farm debt and the lack of affordable capital for Native food producers. The IAC’s alternative is called “sustainability finance,” and the IAC’s new executive director Zachary Ducheneaux shares with Native Business Magazine how the organization invests capital in Native farmers and ranchers.
The timber industry has sustained the Yakama Nation for decades. “Timber has been the backbone of our economy for a long, long time and continues to be an important part of our Tribe’s income, because we ship to markets all across the world,” Phil Rigdon, Superintendent of the Tribe’s Department of Natural Resources, told Native Business Magazine. But now, due to concerns about fluctuation in price and demand, Tribal leaders have developed a plan to replace Tribal dependency on the timber industry by growing highly diversified crops.
Many articles in our June issue intersect business sectors and disciplines. For instance, environmental stewardship is integral to agricultural initiatives in Indian Country, as we illustrate in an article about the harvest and sale of manoomin, or wild rice. And in the Capay Valley of California, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation is excelling through agritourism with two tasting rooms featuring Séka Hills’ estate-grown and -pressed extra virgin olive oil, wine and organic food products.
Success in the wine industry extends beyond California, as the Santa Ana Pueblo of New Mexico can attest. The Tribe not only grows more than 30 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier varietals. It’s selling its annual grape harvest to Gruet Winery — one of the largest producers of Champagne Method sparkling wine in the U.S.
First and foremost, agricultural and natural resource development serves to feed and support our Native communities. Started in 2012, Choctaw Fresh Produce aims to decrease the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians’ reliance on shipping food thousands of miles to reach its commercial kitchens. And Symbiotic Aquaponic, a company founded by Choctaw brothers Kaben and Shelby Smallwood, designs and builds customized backyard and commercial aquaponic farming systems for any individual, Tribe or organization to grow their own food.
What would our “Tourism, Agriculture & Natural Resources” issue be without shining a light on cannabis? Washington state led the nation in 2015 in developing a legal framework for cannabis sales on Tribal lands. Our June issue covers the six Tribes in Washington that currently run seven cannabis retail operations. We also preview the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s forthcoming Cedar Greens retail outfit, which touts a focus on healing and well-being.
Many articles in our June issue overlap business sectors and disciplines. For instance, tourism intersects ecology on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, where visitors can explore the untamed Florida Everglades preserved by the Seminole Tribe. Nestled in the heart of the Everglades, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum showcases more than 180,000 unique artifacts and archival items.
Speaking of pristine beauty, the Makah people’s homeland, situated on the northwestern-most corner of the contingent United States, offers dramatic views of Washington’s coastline. “We are in the most important part of our traditional homeland, and the ocean that surrounds us has not only sustained us but made us wealthy,” said Makah Tribal citizen and Executive Director of the Makah Cultural and Research Center Janine Ledford. “It’s a special place.”
Two articles in our June issue touch on the interplay between human and nature, between conservation and sustenance. Native Business reports on the $20,000 to $30,000 price tag for an annual permit for a non-Native moose hunter on Penobscot lands in Maine, and we spotlight the Jicarilla Apache Tribe’s legendary hunting lodge in northern New Mexico, The Lodge at Chama.
Among the most impressive stories of tourism feats in Indian Country is that of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, whose reservation is situated in the remote Rockies of northern New Mexico. Native Business pays homage to former Tribal Chairman Wendell Chino’s (1923-1998) legacy and visionary leadership that gave birth to Ski Apache and the infamous Inn of the Mountain Gods.
We also consider tourism from the perspective of Navajo entrepreneurs who lead droves of visitors through the majestic Antelope Canyon.
In “The Future,” we shine a light on the revolutionary ways the Cheyenne River Youth Project is teaching food security and commerce to Native youth, who connect to the root of their food sources in outdoor classrooms — the garden and at farmers’ markets.
Our June issue releases on the heels of our inaugural Native Business Summit, hosted May 13-15th at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We take this opportunity to reflect on its value add to Tribal leaders, business executives and entrepreneurs from across Indian Country.
“We are grateful to the venerable cast of keynote speakers, presenters, panelists and forum participants who shared their wisdom and resources with the more than 300 attendees, each of whom left the Summit feeling more empowered, more inspired, more invigorated and more equipped with tactical knowledge to excel in business for the betterment of Indian Country,” said Carmen Davis (Makah Nation), Founder, Publisher and Executive Editor of Native Business Magazine.
Overall, our “Tourism, Agriculture & Natural Resources” issue covers a wealth of topics related to growing healthy foods that empower community well-being and Tribal self-determination, and turning Tribal reservations into tourism destinations that bring in revenue and create jobs. Our June issue of Native Business Magazine is multi-faceted and cross-sector focused, inviting readers to connect the dots, like Chairman Fox: compressed natural gas can fuel greenhouses that will provide healthy food for future generations on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, while also feeding the world.
A common thread runs throughout our June issue: that by asserting sovereignty over our lands through agricultural, natural resource and tourism development, we empower self-sufficiency and build thriving Native economies.
Subscribe today to download the digital version of the magazine at NativeBusinessMag.com/digital, and sign up to begin receiving free print copies of Native Business Magazine at NativeBusinessMag.com/subscribe.