About Sovereign Seeds
Sovereign Seeds is an Indigenous-led network dedicated to supporting Indigenous seed sovereignty in what is colonially known as Canada. We work to facilitate meaningful opportunities for Indigenous people to connect with one another and with our ancestral food relationships. Sovereign Seeds exists to support the revitalization, transmission, and vitality of Indigenous peoples’ seeds and seed cultures for the health of our people and the territories we depend on.
Sovereign Seeds combines collective seed visioning with relational action. By cultivating seed education opportunities, collaborative spaces, and tools, we aim to contribute to Indigenous seed efforts by nurturing and strengthening our ancestral seed practices.
Nicole Davies is a Saulteaux Anishinaabe and Red River Métis community organizer, practitioner, and researcher with a passion for Indigenous land-based knowledge revitalization. They carry experience in anti-oppressive grassroots programming, sustenance justice, food sovereignty, and climate resiliency. Nicole is a co-founder of the Indigenous Sustenance Reclamation Network (ISRN), a Two-Spirit led sustenance skills education initiative, and is founder of the Mashkiki Collective, an Indigenous plant medicine community learning project. Nicole has an MA in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria and is a Research Fellow with the David Suzuki Foundation. They are committed to supporting decolonial, relational, and accessible community-building spaces. As the program manager for Sovereign Seeds, they are committed to collaboratively supporting community-directed seed learning and leadership for healthier, ancestrally-guided communities and seed relationships.
Rowen White is a seed keeper from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for Indigenous seed and food sovereignty. Rowen serves as director and founder of Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed stewardship organization focusing on local seed and education that is based in Nevada City, California. Rowen is the national coordinator of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network, an initiative of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at leveraging resources to support tribal food sovereignty projects. She has developed many curricula focusing on a holistic, Indigenous, permaculture-based approach to seed stewardship which honours the many layers of seed culture. Rowen teaches and facilitates creative seed stewardship immersions with numerous tribal and small farming communities and offers an online seasonal mentorship called Seed Seva. As Sovereign Seeds' program mentor, Rowen is dedicated to nurturing the growth of Indigenous seed leadership.
Support Indigenous seed leaders in their leadership and nurture emerging seed learners as future Knowledge Holders
Revitalize our seed teachings and the cultural and spiritual practices that inform our seed relationships
Strengthen our climate change resiliency by increasing our seeds' preparedness, for the health of our seeds, our people, and the ecological networks we depend on
Restore decolonial seed governance by centering Indigenous women’s and Indigenous 2SLGBTQQIAAP+ community members’ contributions, experiences, and decisions
Improve Indigenous peoples' access to their seed varieties
Provide accessible opportunities for mentorship, co-learning, and seed knowledge transmission
Generate a network of Indigenous peer support in navigating threats to our seed relations, including environmental racism, industrial agriculture, and biopiracy
Offer healing from the impacts of historical and ongoing colonization through a return to ancestral seed relationships and responsibilities
Increase Indigenous cross-community seed and sustenance collaboration
Our Partners, Mentors, and Supporters
Sovereign Seeds is in partnership with the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network (ISKN), a national network that leverages resources and cultivates solidarity among grassroots tribal seed sovereignty projects across Turtle Island. ISKN provides educational resources, mentorship training, outreach and advocacy support on seed policy issues, and organizes national and regional events and convenings to connect many communities who are engaging in this vital work. Through mentorship and leadership trainings, ISKN strives to see the number of confident seed stewards within tribal communities growing exponentially. Sovereign Seeds aims to support these seed leadership visions by echoing these approaches north of the medicine line. ISKN’s extensive expertise in nourishing Indigenous seed sovereignty efforts lends invaluable insight and guidance to the development of this program.
Sovereign Seeds is strengthened by SeedChange, an international non-profit organization that works with family farmers and like-minded non-profits around the world to strengthen their ability to
grow good food, starting with local
seeds. SeedChange delivers tailored projects that help farmers improve their incomes, defend their rights, and grow better food for all. SeedChange is committed to responding to sustenance injustices by supporting
Indigenous food leadership
globally. SeedChange is acting on this commitment through the
administration and delivery of
Sovereign Seeds and through their support for our governance, growth, and vision. SeedChange's commitment to social justice and their wide-ranging experience in establishing and delivering seed initiatives provides Sovereign
Seeds with key tools and resources to realize our seed
managed by RSF Social Finance.
The Seeds, Soil, and Culture fund supports the transformation of local and regional food systems through the power of biodiversity and biocultural heritage. This fund aims to shine light on the knowledge, values, and leadership that inspire the practice of
agroecology worldwide. Seeds,
Soil, and Culture grants support farmers who bring their culture to the forefront, who illustrate how their beliefs, values, language, ethics, art, music, cuisine, ways of learning, and traditional farming practices embody agroecology at its best. The Seeds, Soil, and Culture fund's generous support for Sovereign Seed's work is what makes our program and its impacts possible.