Because of poverty and geographic isloation, many Indigenous American peoples do not have access to quality stores for fresh fruits and vegetables. As a result, food scarcity, obesity, and diabetes have become epidemics in 'Indian Country". The Orchard will strive to be a component that battles the epidemics at South Segment on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.
The Community Orchard will provide fresh fruit to approximately 350 enrolled members. This number grows over the summer as South Segment is situated on the south shore of Lake Sakakawea. There is an annual Pow-Wow in June (attendance 2,000+) and ongoing summer activites at the lake.
The goal is to grow food-producing trees that the community has access to and feels safe to eat. The Orchard will bring members back to a personal relationship with 'Mother Earth' while providing therapy and healing by having access to whole foods that are plant based. It will engage all age levels from the early elementary to community members at-large for planting and classroom studies, to food preservation/demonstrations, and annual harvest festivals. A Honey Bee farm is planned for appurtenance to our Orchard.
The Orchard will help supplement the food supply in rural North Dakota with fresh home-grown fuit that can be sold at our C-store, given to our Elders, and also those facing economic hardships. Classroom studies can take place at the Orchard on fruit and honey bees.
Although South Segment is part of the Three Affiliated Tribes which has oil and gas development, not all members reap the benefits, but most reap the culmination of the development. South Segment is steadily working to reverse the hard effects ( oil and gas development) on the reservation land-locked community so that all members can take part in a healthy and sustainable component to living and walking on the good 'Red Road.'
Funded by Cass Clay (January 2018)