Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe given annual award

Land trust to present it this Thursday

PORT ANGELES — North Olympic Land Trust has awarded the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Traditional Foods & Culture Program its 23rd Annual nəxʷsƛ̕əy̕əkʷáʔnəŋ of the Year Award.

“This year, the Land Trust is using “nəxʷsƛ̕əy̕əkʷáʔnəŋ” (gatherer of food in the Klallam language) instead of “farmer” to reflect the Traditional Foods & Cultural Program’s innovative and culturally based project that promotes traditional, sustainable, and ecologically sound cultivation, gathering, and food practices,” the land trust said in a press releases.

The award will be presented in a virtual program, “Rooted in Community: Celebrating our Local Bounty,” premiering at 6:30 p.m. Thursday on the land trust’s YouTube channel. To see it, go to northolympiclandtrust.org.

The tribe’s program has established a community garden, restored prairie and promoted healthy eating while focusing on sustainable management and the propagation and harvesting of native plants, said Tom Sanford, executive director of the land trust.

“For millennia, people on the North Olympic Peninsula have cultivated this landscape through management practices that help maintain healthy ecosystems while promoting specific plants for food with cultural and medicinal value,” Sanford said.

“The Land Trust is excited to recognize the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe for this fantastic Traditional Food & Culture Program that revives these practices and traditions.

“This program positively and significantly impacts the way our community connects with the land.”

Said Ron Allen, Jamestown S’Klallam tribal chair and CEO: “The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and our community are very excited that our Traditional Foods Program is being honored with North Olympic Land Trust’s nəxʷsƛ̕əy̕əkʷáʔnəŋ of the Year Award.

“Cultural Programs Supervisor and Tribal citizen Lisa Barrell and her team have been working diligently to restore prairies and our traditional practices to promote an understanding of the healthy and medicinal value of traditional foods,” he continued.

“They truly have earned this local recognition and we hold our hands up in appreciation of this honor.”

The land trust said the Traditional Foods & Culture Program supports tribal practices that build resiliency and connections to community, family and history in a number of ways:

• Educating about and providing traditional foods to promote health, food sovereignty and sustainability;

• Practicing seasonal cultural and traditional practices that support health and wellness;

• Offering traditional and contemporary physical activities that promote well being, including gathering traditional plant materials for food and cultural uses, and maintaining community gardens and prairies.

The Farmer of the Year Award has been presented annually since 1999, first by the Friends of the Fields and then by the North Olympic Land Trust, a conservation group.

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