Gulf Coast land loss threatens food sovereignty

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Theresa Dardar is leading an effort among several Louisiana tribes to restore their food sovereignty—the sustainable production of healthy, culturally appropriate food—as the land around them disintegrates. (Courtesy of Edmund D. Fountain)

Theresa Dardar is leading an effort among several Louisiana tribes to restore their food sovereignty—the sustainable production of healthy, culturally appropriate food—as the land around them disintegrates. (Courtesy of Edmund D. Fountain)

Pointe-au-Chien and other Louisiana tribes want to protect native ways of eating.

Native Americans living along Louisiana’s ragged Gulf Coast are some of the first communities in North America hit by land loss and severe flooding caused, in part, by climate change. It’s put a pinch on gardening, grazing and trapping for the Pointe-au-Chien tribe and others across the region.

For centuries, native people lived together and fed themselves. Now their homes and traditional ways of eating are under threat.

“There were cows … there were cattle. Now you go right there, there’s hardly any more land. And now it’s open water,” says Theresa Dardar, member of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe.

In a collaboration with the Food and Environment Reporting Network, Barry Yeoman visited the bayou and found tribes working toward “food sovereignty” as the landscape changes.

Listen to the full story above. 

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