July 04, 2024

HMM 07 – 04 – 24

In place of our regular Hudson Mohawk Magazine programing, today we share this episode of The Aunties Dandelion podcast called “Auntie Kahehtoktha – Keeper of the Seeds.”

Show notes:

NARRATOR: On this episode of The Aunties Dandelion – an interview with Kahehtoktha Janice Brant – a Kanyen’kehà:ka Mohawk farmer, Seed Keeper, and co-founder of the Kenté:ke Seed Sanctuary. Janice and her Tyendinega collaborators recently took over care of a seed collection held by nuns for decades at a nearby convent. It’s been a journey of community engagement, discernment and the creation of a new and original wampum belt to honor the transfer of the seeds.

KAHEHTOKTHA JANICE BRANT: When you open that husk – it is like you are looking at an infant. You are looking at a baby. You are looking at the future generations and to me that is extremely humbling and extremely powerful. They have been around for a long time and here they are still.

NARRATOR: That power behhcomes a push back against our over culture — and Kahehtoktha discusses the risks of caring for seeds with an intention sovereignty.

KAHEHTOKTHA JANICE BRANT: We are not trying to create control over the seeds. In fact just quite the opposite. We are trying to make seeds available to people to make healthier, stronger seeds available to people. So you can see how that sort of – just given that flip of the paradigm can make it a dangerous game to play. And so we have to be careful and we get stopped at the border. You become sort of like a terrorist almost in the same – we are dangerous because we are in charge of freedom and you are free when you have your own food.

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