Indigenous Foods Festival at Cal Poly Humboldt – Times-Standard

The Rou Dalagurr Food Sovereignty Lab and the Traditional Ecological Knowledges Institute will host the second “Indigenous Foods Festival” on May 4 at Cal Poly Humboldt. (Cal Poly Humboldt photo)

The Rou Dalagurr Food Sovereignty Lab and the Traditional Ecological Knowledges Institute will host the second “Indigenous Foods Festival” on May 4 at Cal Poly Humboldt from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wiyot Plaza and at the Native American Forum, Behavioral and Social Sciences Building, Union and E. 16th Streets.

This festival is part of the Cal Poly Humboldt Native American Studies’ Food Summit, which runs for two weeks in April and May. The food festival focuses on uplifting indigenous food sovereignty in many regions. The festival includes an outdoor area where various organizations will host tables, demonstrations, workshops, educational materials, food and art. There will also be a larger forum space, which will host discussion panels and speaker presentations on food sovereignty and indigenous foodways throughout the festival.

“The Indigenous Foods Festival is such an important way to recognize the deep-rooted knowledge and relationships that Indigenous communities maintain in our region. The continuation and celebration of traditional foods illustrates the survival of the California Indians,” said Kaitlin Reed, co-director of the laboratory.

Planned panels and activities include a Youth Food Sovereignty Panel, a discussion with Save California Salmon presenters Kaitlin Reed and Charley Reed, and tours of the indoor and outdoor spaces of the Rou Dalagurr Food Sovereignty Lab. The festival will include discussions with students from the Food Sovereignty Lab about the history, current projects and future plans for the lab, as well as the importance of increasing food sovereignty and food justice on campus.

The Rou Dalagurr Food Sovereignty Lab is an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort designed by students and informed by the community. The purpose of the laboratory is to provide the opportunity to work directly with surrounding communities, tribal nations, and national and international scientists and community leaders to center, learn, and engage in Indigenous science, environmental management, and conservation practices.

“From the beginning, the laboratory’s development was led by tribal community representatives and passionate student advocates and research assistants. We are so proud of the work that all the students have done to make this project so successful. We are also grateful for the many community donors who have supported us along the way,” said Cutcha Risling Baldy, co-director of the laboratory.

Thanks to contributions from more than 500 donors, the laboratory has raised more than $430,000 in donations for the renovation. The lab still needs to raise approximately $50,000 and continues to raise funds to support the renovation; installation of an outdoor classroom; maintenance of a native garden; and supporting ongoing programming such as youth food sovereignty programming. The laboratory also continues to host workshops, special tours, speaking events and volunteer days in the garden. To support the lab, visit

The Indigenous Foods Festival is free and open to the public. For more information, visit