Our Core Values
Grinding Stone Collective is guided by three core values: Education, Reciprocity, and Action (ERA). We believe that education is essential for preserving and promoting Indigenous foodways and traditional knowledge. Our commitment to reciprocity emphasizes the importance of sharing and exchanging resources, knowledge, and skills, building relationships across communities, and supporting a more equitable food system. Through direct action and intervention, we prioritize sustainable practices that promote the health and well-being of the environment and the communities that rely on it for their sustenance. Together, these core values underpin our mission and guide our work to create healthier and more sustainable food systems that honor the land and the cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples.
We prioritize the importance of building relationships between nations as a guiding principle for our initiatives. We firmly believe that our collective voices, traditions, and the knowledge passed down through generations can serve as powerful tools to help us move forward in the face of climate change. By fostering inter-tribal community spaces and learning from Traditional Ecological Knowledge, we are working to rebuild the alliances that existed prior to colonization that transcends territorial boundaries. We recognize the value in preserving and sharing the cultural heritage of our ancestors to ensure it continues to serve us in the present day.
We strongly believe in the importance of reciprocity in building and sustaining Indigenous communities. This tradition has always been a part of our way of life, from hunting and fishing to foraging and harvesting. Sharing and trading our bounty with others, even outsiders from overseas has been a vital aspect of our cultural heritage. We strive to keep this tradition alive by working to bridge the gap in access to Indigenous foods between rural and urban communities. We understand that these foods travel beyond the individuals we provide them to and have the potential to positively impact the broader food system. Through our efforts, we hope to not only improve access to traditional foods but also to support the revival of Indigenous foodways and to create a more equitable food system for all.
As our organization has grown and our understanding of sustainable food practices has deepened, we have come to recognize that access to land for harvesting, hunting, and foraging can be a major obstacle. This is why we are committed to empowering both urban and rural communities to learn and practice our traditional skills. By providing education, training, and resources, we hope to create a path towards the restoration of our agro-biospheres and the revitalization of Indigenous food systems. We believe that by promoting the cultivation and consumption of traditional foods, we can create healthier communities and a more sustainable food system that honors the land and the cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples.
Theory of Change
Our Theory of Change centers on the revitalization of Indigenous food systems and the restoration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) as practice. Our approach involves creating education and training programs that provide Indigenous communities with the skills and knowledge needed to grow, harvest, and prepare traditional foods. We work with Indigenous community members, establish community partnerships, acquire funding, and utilize technological resources to increase awareness and engagement with Indigenous food culture, increase access to Indigenous foods, and increase the sustainability of Indigenous food systems.
Through the support of Indigenous communities in reclaiming their food sovereignty, we aim to create healthier, more equitable, and sustainable food systems. We recognize the importance of technology in achieving this goal as it provides opportunities to amplify and scale our impact. By combining tech and TEK, we have created a platform for knowledge-sharing, connecting Indigenous communities across territories, and promoting sustainable food practices. Through these efforts, we aim to inspire a new generation of Indigenous leaders who will carry forward the legacy of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and create a more just and sustainable world for all.
On the importance of TEK
[Traditional Ecological Knowledge]
Stewards leverages the importance of TEK, the world's oldest technology and our original big data. By bridging the gap between the old ways and the new, we are empowering Indigenous people across the nation to take back our food sovereignty. From the lessons of the three sisters to seasonal harvesting practices, we can eliminate the food crisis and scarcity. We are ensuring that the generation has the knowledge to make it happen. For decades, Traditional Ecological Knowledge has allowed indigenous communities to thrive even in the aftermath of settler colonialism, now we want we will use this knowledge to restore the natural environment.