The Food Security Project Launches Sípnuuk, a Digital ‘Storage Basket’

IMG_2667Press release from the Karuk Tribe:

As one of the seven collaborators in the Food Security Project for the Mid-Klamath region, the Department of Natural Resources is proud to announce the March 23 launch of the Sípnuuk Digital Library, Archives and Museum. This collection was developed as part of a broad food security initiative in the Klamath Basin funded by the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture – Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food Security Grant # 2012-68004-20018.  Sípnuuk, the Karuk word for storage basket, is the name for the regional digital library that is one of the objectives of this grant.

“This is a very proud moment for us all here today. Developing this valuable digital resource has required asking some tough questions about preserving cultural heritage; and while we don’t profess to know all the answers, we have come a long way. Fortunately, we have been able to count on dedicated and hard-working staff, and have profited from the advice of representatives from our target audiences: cultural practitioners, tribal leaders, academic researchers, non-tribal community members,” said Leaf Hillman, Director of the Karuk Department of Natural Resources.

Sípnuuk’s overarching goal is to serve as a resource for researchers, tribal departments, tribal and local non-tribal communities to enhance understanding of regional food security issues, identify solutions and to document and provide access to knowledge of traditional and contemporary foods and materials.

The AFRI Food Security Grant, led by UC Berkeley’s Dr. Jennifer Sowerwine, is being implemented by a network of collaborators throughout the Klamath Basin as well as at external partnering institutions.  “Each collaborating entity and individual involved is doing vital work specific to food security – from academic research to on-the-ground revitalization,” reports Sowerwine. The conceptualization of Sípnuuk was to bring this work, as well as other resources critical to its development, together into a collection that can be used for wide variety of projects and activities that support enhancing food security and food sovereignty in the Klamath Basin.   Currently, over 750 items have been uploading onto Sípnuuk – and its collections continue to grow on a weekly basis.

Contributions from AFRI Participants range from a wide range of food security projects pertaining to land and water management practices, traditional and contemporary foods and materials, and the laws and policies pertaining to food sovereignty.

For more information:  Lisa Hillman, Food Security Coordinator, Karuk Tribe 530-627-3446;lisahillman@karuk.us

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