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I want to thank Leigh Kuwanwisiwma, of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, for redressing relationships and healing past wounds.

Some of the most important work being done on our Turtle Island “continent” today is in the realm of what Rowen White calls “seed” rematriation, bringing indigenous crop seeds back home to their motherlands and stewarding cultures that have the deepest ties to these food resources.

A decade ago, I was blessed enough to have coordinated with Leigh Kuwanwisiwma of the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office one of the first concerted attempts at such seed reconciliation and homecoming in Winslow, Arizona; Michah or Leigh’s staff accepted upon behalf of the distinctive clans at Hopi more than 40 varieties and dozens of pounds of seeds that had found themselves in seeds banks and gardens of the USDA, Seed Savers Exchange, Native Seeds/SEARCH, cultural museums and botanical gardens over the previous hundred years (Yes, some still-surviving Hopi seeds were collected before Arizona statehood and establishment of the Hopi reservation and tribal government, and some like Hopi cotton had been grown out elsewhere but had been lost from some clans over intervening years).

Leigh just recently retired from his role as Director of the Cultural Preservation Office he helped found at Hopi, and I want to honor him and thank him and my old friend Vernon Masayesva for their precedent-setting visions of redressing relationships and healing past wounds. May the seeds of their visions live on!

-Brother Coyote



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