Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service a $730,585 grant for its Alaska Tribes Extension Program as part of the $71 million investment to help underserved communities.
UAF associate professor Heidi Rader said the Alaska Tribal Outreach Program focuses on tribal needs and goals related to food sovereignty. This can mean supporting traditional ways of knowing and securing food, or starting a garden, farm, ranch, or other business that contributes to community food security, resilience, and economic diversity.
COVID-19 and climate change have strained important traditional sources of food, leading to greater interest in growing food.
“This funding is very exciting and will allow us to deliver virtual, hands-on workshops to tribes across Alaska,” Rader said. “We are committed to providing outreach services alongside traditional knowledge holders. »
The Alaska Rural Community Action Program will provide technical support as well as virtual workshops. The Indian community of Metlakatla will also offer a hands-on experiential workshop.
The project aims to serve 115,000 Alaska Natives and 229 tribes.