Friday, November 28, 2014

Iroquois Corn and the beginnings of a Seed Story Library.

Iroquois corn kernels from the original Haudenosaunee variety.

SeedBroadcast is honored to be partnering with the Sustainable Studies program at Institute for American Indian Arts to activate an interactive Seed Story Library. This vision was spearheaded by Annie Haven McDonnell who is core faculty of the Essential Studies Department and the Chair of the Campus Climate Committee.  Annie invited SeedBroadcast to collaborate on a series of Seed Story workshops to introduce students to the importance of not only saving our traditional seeds but also saving the stories that are encapsulated within them. The process has begun and the students will be collecting seed stories from their communities and working with the campus library to create the IAIA Seed Story Library.
On one of our recent visits to the campus we met with James Thomas Stevens who is the Chair of the Creative Writing program. James is a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, his Mohawk name is Aronhiótas ,"Where the sky goes up." James graciously shared some of his heritage flint corn along with his story of the resilience of the Iroquois people and this ancient variety of corn  after the destruction of Iroquois villages and crops during the"Burnt Earth Campaign" of 1779.

Both James and Annie are creative beings in their lives, teaching, and they have received many well deserved accolades for their poetry. They are inspired by culture, a deep love of nature and concern for the land they seek to protect.  They observe, listen and truth tell.
 Annie's poem "Seeds"  can be found in the SeedBroadcast Spring agri-Culture Journal
SeedBroadcast is looking forward to our continued collaboration and partnership in 2015.
It is an auspicious beginning !