Indigenous communities are those that produce food in the same way as their great-great-great grandparents. They know how to live off their land, taking care of the soil, the water an the air. This is the future of food, because within 50 years we will no longer be able to eat the polluted food of industrial agriculture and we will only be able to feed ourselves if we take care of Mother Earth.”

Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe), USA

“If you look at a map of global agrobiodiversity hotspots you soon realize that they are identical with indigenous peoples’ habitats.”

Phrang Roy

It is clear that supporting indigenous communities and their traditional food systems means preserving the world’s biodiversity. The Indigenous Terra Madre (ITM) network was born to bring indigenous peoples’ voices to the forefront of the debate on food and culture and to institutionalize indigenous peoples’ participation in the Slow Food movement, as an integral part of the larger Terra Madre network.

Slow Food believes that defending biodiversity also means defending cultural diversity. The rights of indigenous peoples to control their land, to grow food and breed livestock, to hunt, fish and gather according to their own needs and decisions is fundamental in order to protect their livelihoods and defend the biodiversity of native animal breeds and plant varieties.

The survival of indigenous peoples is proof of the resilience of these traditional societies, held together by their identity—their cultures, languages and traditions are linked to geographical areas and the historical links with the environment that they inhabit and depend on.

Today, indigenous peoples are fighting against land and water grabbing, cultural erosion, social discrimination and economic marginalization. The partnership between ITM communities and Slow Food confronts these issues by promoting indigenous food systems that are good, clean and fair.

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