Now that I have completed my internship, I’m happy to reflect upon the work that I have done with REDCO’s Food sovereignty initiative. Although it was a great and memorable summer experience with my internship and the initiative I worked with, it’s also hard to believe how fast the summer has drifted by. It was great to be able to meet new people from other states who have traveled from long distances, while also having the opportunity to meet people from other tribes, and from my tribe. Other things I gained from my internship experience was being able to create friendships that I positively won’t forget, learn different ways and methods to stay actively involved in my community, gain more knowledge about the environment and how to work with plants, and work in a group/ initiative that was very passionate about wanting to work with and better the communities. The Initiative’s missions is to take back the power of the food system that has for years damaged the diets and health of Indigenous peoples, which has caused an immense amount of health disparities and complications.
The other highlight of the summer was also being able to work more with the youth. The initiative did a great job in making sure the youth were also being educated on how to prepare traditional and healthy Indigenous foods, while also educating them about how to work with plants, and how to acquire healthy eating habits. My volunteer experience also allowed me to be able to work with the youth as well. That opportunity was being able to chaperone a trip where we took the youth to hike both Bear Butte and Black Elk’s peak, which are both known to be very sacred Indigenous sites to the Lakota people, and educate them about the sites and their culture. Not only did I have the awesome opportunity to meet new people and learn new things, work with the youth but these were also some of my goals that I set for myself and that I wanted to accomplish throughout my internship.
In all, I had an amazing experience interning with REDCO’s Food Sovereignty Initiative during my internship. It was a very essential endeavor to be able to give back to my community in any way I can and to the best of my ability. Working with the youth and an initiative, who were incredibly passionate about bettering the Sicangu Oyate (people) definitely allowed me to do that. I learned so much things, enjoyed the people I worked with at the initiative, and also the youth I had the opportunity to work with. Thank you very much for the opportunity in allowing me to work with the amazing Food sovereignty Initiative. I hope to work more with the REDCO Food Sovereignty Initiative in future endeavors. After all good food is good medicine. Mitakuye Oyasin (All my relatives).