Akimel O’otham Farming presented during HHC Winter Speaker Series
On Jan. 24, several gathered to learn about traditional and modern O’otham agriculture at the Huhugam Heritage Center (HHC), as part of their ongoing ‘Winter Speaker Series’ held every Wednesday evening until Feb. 28.
The series features a variety of speakers, sharing and discussing topics related to O’otham and Pee Posh culture.
Former Lt. Gov. Robert Stone, held a presentation to inform fellow Community members about the importance of agricultural knowledge passed down through generations and traditional seeds grown then and now.
The presentation even touched basis on tools, plants and the environment around us in today’s world. The comparisons of traditional and modern methods were focus points in Stone’s presentation and how this knowledge can help the Community.
Stone, District 5, is well known as a spiritual leader, traditional singer and farmer, artist, Indigenous seeds & food advocate, culture and language instructor, as well as former GRIC Council member and Lt. Gov. for the Community.
“We are able to set up our presentations in the future for Community members to be proud and learn traditional knowledge,” an HHC employee stated. “We try to implement different kinds of presentations for Community members to be more involved”.
The presentation had many opportunities for those in attendance to be involved with asking questions directly to Stone and even featured hands-on experience with different traditional seeds.
One attendee stated, “it is very important to learn our traditions, as O’otham agriculture is what kept us alive”.
Stone shared quality information about traditions of O’otham agriculture and how it can help in the modern world. Adapting to styles of farming helps build education, protection and resources. Stone stated, “It’s part of our sovereignty, our foundation”.
In the future, Stone plans to build a website through Gila River Farms for the purpose of community members gaining additional knowledge. For now, those who are interested in learning more about agriculture or would like certain products can visit Gilariverfarms.org