Uncolonizing our beliefs: trauma-informed community lifestyle change

It is undeniably a time of major shifts in consciousness. Quantum Mechanics has revealed undeniable Truths that are reflecting latent memories of Oneness. Gratefully many are responding. We have quieted down just enough to hear the whispers and echoes beckoning us to Remember.

What is required of Us today is to move beyond our own individual comforts and begin to explore deeply how the Me is impacting and affected by the We. The understanding that We as a species are a breathing manifestation of an ancient, persistent and recurrent legacy; the wound of Human Supremacy.

Living in the consequences of this wound—with no awareness or understanding of it—is in itself a re-wounding that keeps us in cycles of suffering. Lost in the pain of the Me, we have lost sight of the medicine in the We. We have so much healing to do individually and collectively if we are to make the shifts necessary to address the climate crisis we are in.

It has been predicted that Earth has 60 harvest years left. That means children born this year will be starving by the age of 60. Today Pinal County, the county adjacent to mine, is projected to be uninhabitable within the next 9 years! Communities living in our at-risk zip codes are prime to be the FIRST CLIMATE REFUGEES. Alarming? Yes! Fatalistic? Not in the least!


Indigenous, Black and Racialized babies will inherit a world without elders because so many of our older generations are succumbing to chronic diseases and Covid-19. Social determinants to health must be our MAIN focus as we move forward toward quantum medicine; giving rise to our ancestral inheritances.


Our communities are distressed and oppressed by imposed ignorance, systemic and environmental racism, racialized violence, food apartheid, health inequity and health disparity, to say the least. We know that our food choices are at the center of the climate crisis as well as the aforementioned injustices. Now that we know, what do we do?


Seeds to Inspire Foundation is part of a large and enthusiastic plant-based social justice movement that is committed to providing nutrition education, culinary medicine interventions, and trauma-informed resources to where it is least accessible.


Behavioral changes are extremely challenging and we recognize how important community is to such shifts. Uncolonizing our beliefs, thoughts, and actions takes patience, learning, and unlearning absent of judgement and expectations. We must uncolonize and unlearn to make room for the true essence of who we are meant to be to take root. What we consume and why is imperative for this to happen.


To accept this mission with agency is to come from a place of conscious and intentional action. We need one another and in order to do this we must be physically healthy; without exception. Therefore, we have built upon Lifestyle Medicine’s 6 Pillars of Health to incorporate trauma-informed interventions in our customizable Community Lifestyle Wellness Initiative. We aim to support your resilience by providing nutrition education and culinary medicine programs that raise the immune system while simultaneously abating, arresting and sometimes reversing chronic co-morbidities that make us vulnerable to pandemics. Our advisors actively engage us in making certain our interventions are trauma-informed and culturally relevant.


Why Lifestyle Medicine?


Lifestyle Medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic intervention—including a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances and positive social connection—as a primary modality, delivered by clinicians trained and certified in this specialty, to prevent, treat and often reverse chronic disease.


Why Trauma-Informed?


Because walking a path of “healer” without taking into consideration the history of trauma and history of the specific cultural and societal challenges concretized into barriers to health and wellness is incomplete, insufficient, ineffective and frankly disingenuous.


Trauma-Informed…understands and considers the pervasive nature of trauma and promotes environments of healing and recovery rather than practices and services that may inadvertently re-traumatize.


Why Community Engaged?


Because everyone wants respect. Because we do not come with “answers” but rather powerful tools that when combined with other healing interventions synthesize into collective re-imagining and solutions. Because you know You better than anyone else and You know Your community. Because we hope to support you in your healing journey. Because we aim to nourish the resilience and nurture the assets within you and your community.


Why Cultural Education?


Because cultural education and trauma informed interventions foster cultural healing and when a population heals culturally this manifests as agency and sovereignty.


Because cultural healing leads to cultural protection and cultural protection directly and unequivocally addresses the root of the climate crisis.


Let Our Ancestors Rest Campaign (LOAR)

Addressing Climate Change through Cultural Protection


“My grandmother always told me, ‘We could not live our spiritual practices or traditions, or speak our language because it was life or death. We had to do that to survive. But that is no more. We needed to go back. But we never went back.’ ASSIMILATION SUCCESSFUL.” –Running Deer, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community


“Funding goes to hospitals and treatment centers. Nothing preventative. Nothing culturally healing. Nothing addressing the TRAUMA of colonization on a population. This is the greatest wound.” –Running Deer, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community


“A friend of mine once suggested that one of the things that Indian People have never really had is a kind of way to overcome the sorrow of conquest…the sorrow of being conquered.” –Jack Forbes, PhD


“I think a lot of the alcoholism has to do with looking around in a world in which your people are still oppressed.” –Jack Forbes, PhD


Forty percent of the American Indian population is obese, and

18% have diabetes. Among American Indian tribes, Pima Indians

have the highest incidence rates of diabetes in the world.


We owe it to our progeny to rise above the pervasive fog of societal and cultural malaise that pervades our conscious awareness. A genocide that was set ablaze on Turtle Island over 500 years ago is finally reaching its completion.


Some of my ancestors inhabited the island of Boriken, which you refer to as Puerto Rico. Bartolomé De Las Casas writes graphically about the Taino massacres in A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies. And some of my ancestors were kidnapped from the west coast of Africa, imprisoned, and enslaved on slave labor camps in the Caribbean. We are their descendants embodying the consequences and aftermath of the invasion, destruction and savagery of colonization.


How many of us are behaving, thinking, or eating as we would have had imperialism and colonialism not set its voracious appetite on our land and bodies?


The capitalist system that exalted and rewarded such atrocities is the same system that governs us today. The quality of the food and medical treatment we receive today is reflective of a mutation and adaptation of the system that established itself in someone else’s stolen home over five centuries ago.


Is this not the same system deciding what is considered food? When, where and how much of it we get?

Is this not the same system deciding what health looks like and who is worthy to access healthcare?

Is this not the same system deciding who is worthy and why?


So what does this mean? Are we lost? How can we be lost when we have holders of wisdom and guardians of Earth living among us?


I have the honor of supporting my sister-friend and colleague Running Deer. She is Akimel O’odham born and raised on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. She is a chef, activist, speaker, founder of the Let Our Ancestors Rest Campaign (LOAR), but first and most importantly she is a mom; a mother fighting for the right for her children to live in a world with clean air and water. Where food is growing abundantly. A world of reverence for Life and our place in it.


Observing her and growing to love her has shown me the depth of suffering our indigenous brothers and sisters carry as they bear witness to a continual and continuous assault on our mother Earth. They feel the violations and violence on her; to have to watch other humans who have had their connection to Spirit…to Divinity…severed...so lost they have become self-destructive; destroying and consuming with no regard for consequences; leaving a path of desolation and death.


What can we do when there are specific factors including our environments that influence how we live?


This is where a courageous and profound shift is being made by so many amazing people. We are being called to alchemize our experiences and knowledge into healing energy of which the overflow showers healing on our loved ones and communities. Cultural education leads to cultural healing. Cultural healing leads to Cultural Protection. Cultural Protection gets to the core of the climate crisis.


It’s Quantum Mechanics.

It’s Ancient Wisdom.

It’s Indigenous Consciousness.


  • Form networks of social entrepreneurs and healers, assets within our communities.

  • Somatic Healing aims to help release how a physical body holds on to stress, tension, and trauma, rather than only resolving problems verbally.

  • Cultural Immersion Schools for our youth

  • Create adult-facilitated, potential-driven, culturally relevant, autonomous learning environments for our children.

  • Cultural Education for Adults

  • Community Kitchens

  • Organize and grow our own food. CSAs, farmers markets, community gardens.

  • Minimizing time spent in artificial and fabricated environments

  • Creative and Artistic Expression

  • Create co-ops.

  • Devise meal trains.

  • Heal our own trauma so we can hold space for one another.

  • Organize and change policy and legislation.


What sets us apart?


During many of my speaking engagements I am asked, “Well, what do you say to Native Americans and their traditional hunting practices?” I usually do not participate in What Aboutisms but I feel it is important to address this particular deflection as it is central to our path as an organization.


Our organization juxtaposed and examined our activism and advocacy with the glaring challenges to health and wellness festering in our indigenous communities. Colonization is our common enemy.


Food has been weaponized as a means to control colonized and enslaved people. Animal agriculture is the most abhorrent manifestation of our common enemy as it destroys the planet, destabilizes the climate, is incredibly cruel and foundational to systemic and environmental racism, dietary racism, and health disparity.


To compare indigenous traditional hunting practices to animal agriculture, as if apples-to-apples, is further evidence of the consciousness with which we are engaging. We must educate ourselves in order to represent the Truth of what we are doing honestly, respectfully, and humbly. Decolonizing the diets of our indigenous brothers and sisters is paramount. Challenging the traditions of colonized populations whose entire culture has been nearly decimated by the system creating the disease and lack in their community is deflection, projection, and more evidence of supremacy.


We must make space for our indigenous brothers and sisters to heal from the imposed diets of assimilation and together we will marry current science with indigenous wisdom to respond to climate destabilization. Our message is one absent of judgment or criticism but rather steeped in love, protection, healing, truth, learning, unlearning, humility, reverence and service.


This is why we support and promote the Let Our Ancestors Rest Campaign. In honor of our mission and commitment to LOAR we have partnered with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) with a program called Native Food For Life to help combat the Diabetes epidemic plaguing the reservations.


Currently we are facilitating this program with a small group of individuals representing 5 tribes healing from substance abuse disorder. With your support we are creating a whole plant foods, culinary medicine, trauma-informed, culturally healing support group for the families of these individuals in recovery to create a more healthful and grounded home environment to return to.


We are working on plans to incorporate education and somatic healing in the next few months. There is no more time to waste. That time has come and gone dear friends. It is time we remember what it really means to be a human being and take our place as Divine Guardians of Life on this planet of abundance and beauty. It is our birthright. The babies need us to do this. Ashe.

 

Check out this flyer for more information on the Let Our Ancestors Rest campaign, founded by Running Deer: