Inaugural Food Policy Meeting held in Tuba City

<i>Courtesy photo</i><br>
From left to right (standing): Darcy Peshlakai, Bill Edwards, Rose Marie Williams, Sister Maureen Houlihan and Evelina Maho. Kneeling are: Ashley Hatathli-Nez, Jamescita Peshlakai, and Kathy Charley.

<i>Courtesy photo</i><br> From left to right (standing): Darcy Peshlakai, Bill Edwards, Rose Marie Williams, Sister Maureen Houlihan and Evelina Maho. Kneeling are: Ashley Hatathli-Nez, Jamescita Peshlakai, and Kathy Charley.

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - The Western Navajo Nation Food Policy Council (WNNFPC) convened for their first organizing meeting on Oct. 20 to create change in policy, influence environmental issues, support and enhance the availability of healthy foods within the Navajo Nation.

The WNNFPC is a grassroots community organized council representative of Indigenous farmers, livestock owners, healthcare professionals, anti-hunger advocates and environmentalists who see a need to establish a local food system, food sovereignty policy and to secure a sustainable plan to keep a rich Indigenous cultural identity through food.

The WNNFPC elected officers on Aug. 26 after an extensive two-year community outreach assessment and public input campaign by Diné Inc. and Navajo Nation Traditional Agricultural Outreach. WNNFPC is part of a nationwide movement toward establishing food policy councils to improve health. A White House Childhood Obesity Task Force Report highlights such councils as important in combating health issues and decreasing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

The WNNFPC also views this as an economic vehicle to create business opportunities for small local Native farms and ranches, improve social/food justice, and provide an independent voice for small providers in governmental decisions such as the recent debate centered around the Navajo Nation water settlement that will put a limit on agriculture and impact food resources.

For more information, call (928) 606-4998.

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