Legislation to Protect Native American Seeds Introduced in House
Feb 3, 2014
Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1) and Ben Ray Luján (NM-3), both members of the Congressional Native American Caucus, introduced The Native American Seeds Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 3782) late last year to help preserve Native American seeds that are used for cultural, religious, agricultural and other purposes.
According to Rep. Lujan Grisham, the legislation “would allow tribes, working in conjunction with qualified research entities, to obtain grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct research, education and training programs aimed at protecting the purity of Native American seeds. The legislation would also allow the construction of seed storage facilities to ensure these seeds can continue to play an integral role in tribal life for generations to come.”
In addition to seeds’ cultural importance, the legislation would provide more protection for Native harvesting and agricultural practices. The Pueblo of Tesuque expressed gratitude for the Representatives’ efforts and partnership in helping the Pueblo maintain sovereignty over their agricultural system.