TOPICS – Module 8: Re-envisioning Tribal Economics

Stopping the Leakage of the Tribal Food Economy From December 2007 to March 2008 the White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP) conducted a survey1 of individuals living on the White Earth Indian Reservation including 264 households representing 839 individuals, or nearly 10% of the total reservation population.2 It was conducted by a team of 3 surveyors going door-to-door, principally in public housing areas. At least 240 of the households had one enrolled tribal member, and at least 571 of the individuals surveyed were enrolled members of the tribe.3 The size of surveyed households ranged from 1 to 10 people, but the average size was 3.1 individuals. Food Expenditures Food purchases account for a large proportion of household’s income. 15% of surveyed households report contributing 10% of their income toward food, 32% report contributing 20%, another 32% report contributing 30%, and 21% report contributing 40% or higher. By and large, this trend is found across the reservation. The mean reservation household spends $90 per person per month for food, although Ogema and White Earth township households tended to spend significantly more: around $120 per person per month. 4 However, most people do not spend their food money on the reservation. Less than half (49%) of households reported making any amount of purchases at any reservation store. However, this varied by community: only 24% of Rice Lake residents and 33% of Pine Point residents shopped on the reservation, while 64% of Naytahwaush and 67% of Waubun residents did so. However, even though 49% of reservation households shopped locally at least some of the time, their purchases tended to be relatively small. For those households that noted that they shopped locally, the average amount they spent was $102 per household, per month. So only 14% of reservation households’ food dollars stayed on the reservation. This varied by community as well: 27% of Naytahwaush’s households’ total food expenditures go to the reservation, with a number of individuals noting that they shopped in Mahnomen. However, only 9% of Callaway and Pine Point dollars stayed on the reservation, and the percentage in Rice Lake was even lower.5 In all reservation communities the number of individuals shopping on the reservation was always below that shopping off reservation. Almost 100% of households reported shopping off-reservation, with 88% shopping in Detroit Lakes alone. 100% or nearly 100% of Callaway, Ogema, Waubun, and White Earth households made food purchases there. Although 89% of Mahnomen households and 83% of Naytahwaush households shopped in Detroit Lakes, a significant number (36% and 40%, respectively) also shopped in Bemidji. Pine Point households tended to shop in both Park Rapids (86%) and Detroit Lakes (72%). Rice Lakers were the only ones who did not generally shop in Detroit Lakes: they tended to shop in Bagley (86%) and Bemidji (66%). However, the total percentage of households surveyed who reported shopping in Park Rapids (16%), Bagley (9%), and Bemidji (19%) is comparatively low. Surprisingly, 10% of households, including 31% of Mahnomen residents, reported shopping in Fargo/Moorhead, about an hour away by car from the nearest point on the reservation. A few households, especially in Naytahwaush, also reported shopping in Fosston, and at least 1 reservation household reported Richwood or farmers’ markets as other places they shop.6 Off-reservation food purchases accounted for 86% of the reservation’s food expenditures: 64% went to Detroit Lakes, 9% to Park Rapids, 4% each to Bagley, Fargo, and Bemidji, and 1% to other locations. Purchases at these stores tended to be larger, averaging $251 per household per month in Detroit Lakes, and between $140 and $175 per household per month in the other locations.7 If this survey is representative of the American Indian population on the reservation as a whole, then the total value of the reservation’s food economy measured by the amount purchased in a store equals $362,803 a month or $4,353,634 a year, of which $3,765,893 a year goes off-reservation.8 The food economy is even larger when federal dollars from

food assistance programs and local food sources are considered. Food Assistance There is a wide variety of state and federal food assistance programs on the reservation.9 Commods… First and foremost there are the “commods,” a federal program that serves as an alternative to food stamps, providing direct food assistance to individuals living on Indian reservations. White Earth’s FDIRP commodity program serves around 1000 individuals a month, and provides a variety of food including canned and fresh vegetables and fruits, juice, beans, powdered eggs, vegetable oil, cheese, rice, spaghetti, flour, cereal, and dry/evaporated/UHT milk. Bison meat, bison stew, and cranberry sauce are provided on a limited basis. Most families must come to the Food Distribution headquarters to pick up their food but home delivery is provided for about 50-60 homebound elders. To be eligible, households cannot earn more than 135% of the federal poverty line, but only household size, not income, is a factor in determining the amount of food provided.10 According to the WELRP survey, 37% of households use commodities, with 25% receiving up to 25% of their monthly food from commodities, 7% receiving from 25% to 50% of their food from commodities, and 5% receiving more than 50% of their food from commodities. The amount households received tended to be about the same from community to community, except in Callaway and Rice Lake. In Callaway, only one of the 19 households surveyed used commodities, and then for only up to 25% of their food. In Rice Lake, nearly 30% of survey respondents received more than 50% of their food from commodities, accounting for almost half of the total number of reservation households who did so. Children and Parents Programs... Local educational institutions also provide free or reduced price meals. The 180 Head Start classroom students receive free breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks every school day, while the 60 served by the home visits program receive a free snack at every weekly visit as well as some type of food at the bimonthly socializations.11 At the tribe’s two schools, Circle of Life and Pine Point, all 225 students receive free breakfast and free lunch, and the same is true for the 74 students served by the charter school in Naytahwaush.12 In the area’s other public schools, students receive free meals only if their household makes 130% of the federal poverty line or below and reduced price meals (at no more than 40 cents a meal) only if their household makes 185% of the federal poverty line or below. Of the 630 students served at Mahube Head Start and Mahnomen pre-K through 12 schools, 60% qualify for free lunch and breakfast, 13% qualify for reduced price lunch and breakfast, and 27% pay full price, while of the 653 students attending the Waubun—Ogema—White Earth pre-K through 12 schools, 54% qualify for free lunch and breakfast, 13% qualify for reduced price lunch and breakfast, and the remaining 33% pay full price. Not all students choose to go through the lunch line, of course, and so at Mahnomen an average of 190 students eat free breakfast a day and 32 eat reduced price breakfast while 319 eat free lunch and 83 eat reduced price lunch. The numbers are virtually the same at Waubun: about 180 students a day eat free breakfast and 34 eat reduced price breakfast, while 305 eat free lunch and 68 eat a reduced price lunch.13 In addition, all kindergarten students on the reservation are provided an extra ½ pint of milk a day through the Special Milk program. Food is also available during weekday summer months to school-aged children. Circle of Life offers the Seamless Summer Option during summer break, which serves free breakfasts to about 60 students a day and free lunches to about 175 students a day. Patty Straub, the COL Business Manager, notes that although

providing free meals to parents and caretakers is not officially part of the federally-funded program, COL has begun to do so this year because of the high demand. During the summer, Waubun—Ogema—White Earth Schools also provide free breakfast and lunch to all children, and adults can purchase meals for $3.00. They serve about 60 breakfasts and 90 lunches a day for children, and average about 4 adult meals a day.14 Feeding so many children costs significant amounts of money, although state and federal reimbursements cover the majority of costs. Head Start spends $80,000 a year on food products and non-food related items like napkins or aprons, Circle of Life spends $56,845, Pine Point spends $41,000, Mahnomen spends $193,000, and Waubun—Ogema—White Earth spends 127,000.15 At all schools, upwards of 90% of the food and related non-food items are provided through large private venders such as Food Services of America and US Foods, although Pine Point School in conjunction with WELRP has begun a Farm to School Program to provide local and culturally appropriate foods and Circle of Life also buys some local foods. Children who are not yet school-aged also have access to food assistance. The reservation’s WIC program, which is available for pregnant and nursing women and children 5 years of age or under, serves 597 households consisting of 920 mothers and children. To be eligible, households must earn below 280% to 185% of the federal poverty level depending on the age of the child. Vouchers, which are accepted at most reservation stores and off-reservation stores in the area, provide about $135-$168 a month for infant formula and around $45 a month per child for a limited set of food items including milk, cereal, eggs, peanut butter, and juice. The WIC office issues about 2,655 vouchers a month. In addition, an unknown number of households participate in the Commodity and Supplemental Food Program, which is an alternative to WIC and provides direct food assistance rather than vouchers. The closest offices are in Bemidji and Detroit Lakes, so statistics for reservation households are not available, but because children are eligible for the Commodity and Supplemental Food Program until age 6 rather than 5, the White Earth WIC office directs households to consider signing up if they earn 185% of the poverty line or below and want continued assistance. 16 Elders Programs… Specific programs are also available for the elderly. Minnesota Chippewa Tribes directly runs nutrition programs on the reservation at Pine Point, serving about 35 individuals, and the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council (White Earth RTC) runs programs at Congregate Housing and Biimaadiiziiwiin in White Earth, as well as in Rice Lake, Naytahwasuh, Elbow Lake, and through a home delivery program, serving an additional 216 individuals. At each location the program provides up to one hot meal a day for individuals living on the reservation who are aged 55 or older and are earning 100% or less of the federal poverty level. In addition, 2 hot meals a week are provided via contract to elders in Ogema through Nutritional Services Incorporated. Over 75% of participants are American Indian identified, so culturally appropriate and local food like buffalo and wild rice is provided on occasion. White Earth RTC estimates 85% to 90% of the $245,000 a year spent on food goes to US Foods. Minnesota Chippewa Tribes uses Appert’s Foodservice, a St. Cloud based company.17 Another food program for elders is Mino Miijim, operated by WELRP. Mino Miijim serves 180 American Indian individuals, home delivering nutritionally and culturally appropriate food to diabetic elders once a month. Mino Miijim food includes donated and homegrown deer meat, buffalo meat, hominy, wild rice, fresh vegetables and fruit, and packaged products from the Food Bank, as well as other traditional and seasonal products. County Programs… In addition, there are a number of assistance programs run on the county level, including Food Shelves, the

Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), and Food Stamps. Information for these programs is available for Mahnomen county residents only.18 Approximately 55 households go to Mahnomen County’s Helping Hands every month, although the reservation is also served by Becker County Food Pantry and Clearwater County Food Shelf. In addition, Pine Point township is also looking into starting its own food shelf.19 Helping Hands provides a box with enough food to last for about three days, but households are allowed to come no more than three times over a six month period. At Helping Hands, boxes include canned vegetables, canned fruits, soups, stews, meat, and whatever else is available from the North Country Food Bank, which services the Northwestern Minnesota region including the White Earth Reservation. Households are eligible to participate in Food Bank programs if they earn 200% of the federal poverty level or below or are participating in a select set of other assistance programs like WIC, Food Stamps, etc. 20 Mahnomen County’s Minnesota Families Insurance Program (MFIP) serves around 190 households and 530 individuals a month, with an average payout of $720 per household per month and $258 per person per month. It includes food support, cash grants, and job counseling, and some households may be eligible for health care and child care support, as well. Eligibility is based on earned income and a complex asset formula. Households may stay on the program for no more than 60 months.21 Mahnomen County Food Stamp program serves around 303 households and 642 individuals a month, with an average payout of $217 per household per month and $103 per person per month. Eligibility fallows a complicated formula involving gross income (no more than 130% of poverty), net income (no more than 100% of poverty), and total resources, with a whole slew of deductions. In addition, non-disabled individuals between the ages of 16-60 must either be in a certified job training program, actively looking for work, or working. Payout is provided in the form of vouchers for use at certified food stores (including most reservation and off-reservation stores). The amount of a household’s voucher is adjusted by income level. Individuals who are on Food Stamps are not allowed to receive commodities in the same month. The total monthly benefits given in the form of food stamps is $65,851. 22 Total Food Economy… As mentioned above, reservation residents spend at least $362,803 a month or $4,353,634 a year in grocery food purchases, of which $3,765,893 a year goes off-reservation.23 Add to this the amount spent through WIC vouchers, conservatively estimated at $1,433,700 a year, Food Stamps, conservatively estimated at $1,399,465 a year, pre-K through 12 institutional food at $535,770, and the elderly nutrition program at $284,699, and the total is an additional $3,653,634 a year through food assistance for a total (largely) American Indian reservation food economy of $8,007,268.24 Less than $1,000,000 stays on the reservation.25 Local Food The potential to regain some of the food economy and possibly to reduce the number of households receiving food assistance exists. If households planted gardens and were able to access more venison and fish and if local reservation stores stocked more items families wanted at prices they could pay, the reservation could regain some of its food sovereignty. In terms of gardens, currently 24% of households on the reservation have a garden and 76% do not. But 68% of those that do not have one are interested in having one, while only 32% are not. These numbers are relatively stable across the reservation except in Callaway, where 67% of households had a garden already. In addition, in Mahnomen, only 47% of households that did not have a garden wanted one. There is also potential to increase the consumption of fish, venison, and other locally gathered or hunted

foods. 11% of surveyed households responded that they never eat fish, 57% eat it a few times a year, 26% eat it monthly, and 6% eat it weekly. This pattern generally held across the reservation except in Pine Point and White Earth township. In Pine Point, households were more likely to eat fish only a few times a year (71%) and less likely to eat it once a month (9%). In White Earth township, an unusually large 14% of respondents ate fish weekly. But regardless of current fish consumption levels, when asked whether they would like to eat more fish if it was available, 86% of households across the reservation said they would. A few households, however, expressed concerns about the safety of the local fish stock. Many reservation households also eat deer and other local products: in the past year, the tribe issued 1939 natural resource harvest permits and 3000 deer tags.26 But when asked about whether they would eat more deer meat if it was available, 80% in general, and 96% in Ogema in particular, said they would. Households also expressed interest in buying more food in local stores if it was available. 89% would buy fruits and vegetables, 88% would buy meat, 86% would buy bread and baked goods, 78% would buy dairy, and 59% would buy grains or hot cereals. Survey respondents were also asked to write down other things that they would like to see sold locally. Two or three individuals each mentioned canned goods, health food, homegrown and/or local products, juice, organic foods, and wild rice. In addition, at least one individual would also like to see the following items sold: buffalo, elk, fresh eggs, junk food, moose, seafood, salmon, toiletries, and cleaning products. There was also some mention of having a farmer’s market or a community co-op on the reservation. However, a few people noted that the determining factor would be price. They pointed out that the current options available on the reservation were “a rip-off” or “too expensive” and that they would buy on the reservation only if the prices were competitive with off-reservation prices. Transportation For White Earth reservation families, food is not the only food-related expense. Because so many individuals travel off-reservation to shop, transportation costs associated with food shopping tend to be high.27 Households usually use private vehicles for transportation, and travel times are long.28 For example, it is about 25 miles for a White Earth township or Waubun resident to get to Detroit Lakes, where nearly 100% report shopping. Naytahwaush residents must travel about 45 miles to reach Detroit Lakes where 83% shop and 55 miles to Bemidji where 40% shop. The 33% of Mahnomen residents that travel to Fargo/Moorhead have around 70 miles to go. When asked how much their household spent on transportation per month, a number of households simply said, “a lot” and left it at that. For those who provided a numerical value, the average amount was $217, with a few households spending upwards of $1000 a month.29 Callaway residents spent nearly double any other community, at an average of $416, while Rice Lake, removing one outlier at $1,500, spent $138 per household. Export Potential Case Study of Native Harvest Marketing Plan: “This business plan has been developed as a strategy to increase maple syrup and wild rice production within the reservation and through an association with neighboring Ojibwe producers. The strategy outlines the long-term potential of tripling White Earth’s maple syrup and wild rice production. Maple syrup production in particular provides an untapped opportunity to grow White Earth’s economy exponentially. In 2003, we undertook a study of this potential with the Institute for Trade and Agricultural Policy and the Center for Community Forestry. According to this study, even using the higher production data of 33,000 gallons annually, White Earth’s 100,000 gallon potential capacity dwarfs current state production. The value of this scenario in the marketplace is significant, as Minnesota could go from an unknown maple syrup producer to a more relevant production force. This potential, combined with the

fact that most syrup consumed in Minnesota is transported over long distances from the Canadian and U.S.’s East Coasts, could transform White Earth into a major local producer and open new market opportunities locally, regionally and internationally. Native Harvest, the food production and distribution business of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, will soon engage in a 3 year capacity building and capital investment strategy to position Native Harvest in high value and niche local and international markets. The strategy will involve enabling producers to access low interest capital loans and/or grants in order to scale current levels of production. Through an essential focus on research and development, a valued added international export program will be implemented to optimise potential growth opportunities in key international markets to increase Native Harvests brand presence and distribution networks worldwide. This plan includes an extensive marketing strategy which has been developed to build Native Harvest’s marketing capacity in order to facilitate growth in other areas of the business from its food harvesting activities to its value added processing capabilities. The overall objective of the plan is to double Native Harvest’s current sales of maple syrup, wild rice and heritage food products in year one by modernizing current marketing channels, initiating an aggressive online marketing campaign and securing a loyal following of corporate gift buyers, niche distributors and retail outlets. Year two will focus on working with White Earth harvesters to increase the scale of current yields by enabling their access to low interest capital loans, providing focused production workshops and implementing the Native Trade value added labeling program. Year three will focus on building Native Harvest’s export potential through a mix of research and development as well as reorienting marketing efforts to focus on building distribution channels in niche international markets.

1 VISION The vision of Native Harvest is to facilitate the recovery of traditional indigenous food systems. Currently most White Earth producers have little control of local value chains and have yet to position and scale for high value returns due to their lack of capacity to market and build awareness of the unique features of the traditional foods they harvest. Native Harvest's parent organisation, the White Earth Land Recovery Project, has operated for 23 years and specialises in marketing Ojibwe specialty and heritage foods to local and national markets. We effectively provide the only existing central marketing channel for indigenous made products in Minnesota—a vital platform that has the potential to aggregate harvesters under one indigenous owned and controlled brand. The overall marketing strategy outlined in this plan will help to achieve our vision by increasing sales and channelling profits into Native Harvest’s Sustainable Communities program which includes 3 key projects (1) Ojibwe Wind and Energy Project (2) Niijii Broadcasting Initiative (3) WELRP's Indigenous Seed Restoration Program. A key aspect of Native Harvest's efforts from 2011-2012 will be to generate much needed income through donations from high net worth individuals and customers to support this program. Much of the fundraising activities over the next year will focus on securing funds to complete the Native Harvest wind turbine in Callaway which will be fundamental to achieving more economic self reliance. We will also work regionally and internationally over the next two years, to secure the Native Trade label - a value added program to be launched by Native Trade International in the Fall of 2012. The intention of this label will be to aggregate marketing with allied organizations and Indigenous producers

in strategic regions. 2 KEY INDUSTRY ANALYSIS There are two major industries that Native Harvest’s is currently focussed upon: maple syrup and wild rice. An analysis of the wild rice industry is only briefly included below, as the key business strategy of Native Harvest will be to focus on working to aggregate Maple Syrup producers as well as increase access to capital needed to increase the scale of tapping that is presently occurring on the White Earth reservation. 4.1 Wild Rice Industry The wild rice industry is the most competitive. This largely stems from the fact that often the products provenance and origin is not clearly understood. As a result, some 85% of all that is marketed as wild rice actually originates in California wild rice paddies. Another large market segment is Canadian Lake rice, which shares very similar qualities to the product sold by Native Harvest, except that it is primarily airboat harvested, and is often harvested by Non Natives who lease lakes from the Canadian government, and have the capital to market which is not accessible to the Ojibwe people. Our wild rice is hand harvested and wood parched, a unique, and heritage set of choices, which also directly benefit Native people. Wild rice is able to be stored for many years, if it is cared for properly. This has been a great benefit to the Anishinaabeg over time. However, the Leech Lake tribe, which has a similar product, although most of it is propane parched, which is not a heritage method, has over 20,000 pounds of wild rice which is being sold in similar markets. As well, Red Lake Natural foods from the Red Lake Ojibwe reservation produce a paddy grown wild rice, which is nevertheless marketed as Native American in origin.

4.2 Maple Syrup Industry Native Harvest maple syrup producers have a geographical advantage over East Coast based U.S. and Canadian producers. From distribution to marketing and customer service, the reservation has the capability to compete with other maple producers. Even with current poor production, quality control and managerial conditions, White Earth has been able to market more than the syrup it can produce. A well developed implemented business plan for an association based on the establishment of strategic alliances with regional producers as well as “natural” (food cooperatives, CSA’s and non-profits in MN) and already established markets could position White Earth at the forefront of the maple syrup market both in MN and in other states in the Midwest. Maple syrup is produced in 14 northern U.S. states and four Canadian provinces with the province of Quebec producing 70% of all syrup in the world. Minnesota is a very minor player in the maple syrup industry, representing roughly 1-2% of U.S. maple syrup production. This level of production amounts to between 12,000 and 33, 000 gallons annually with a value ranging between $328,000 and $990,000. According to Statistics Canada, there are over 12,000 maple syrup producers and 9,500 maple farms in Canada. The main maple producing trees are sugar maples (Acer saccharum), red maples (Acer rubrum) and silver maples (Acer saccharinum). In 1998, the annual production of maple syrup in Canada was 25,455 tonnes (56.1 million lbs), a

decrease of 10.5% from 1997, with an “estimated” average farm gate value of $115 million, an important decrease from 1997 where its value was $133.4 million. In total, Canada accounts for 80% of the world production of maple syrup while the United States accounts for the remaining. The main producing provinces are Québec with 92% of the national production, Ontario (4%), New Brunswick (3%) and Nova Scotia (1%). Vermont (31%), New York (20%) and Maine (15%) remain the main producers of maple syrup in the US. According to USDA, the average 1998 price for a US gallon was estimated at $US 27.20 ($US 2.46/lb), unchanged from 1997. Prices varied considerably among eastern states, from $US 28.5 in Vermont compared to $US 43.00 in Connecticut. Note that those prices are weighted average across retail, wholesale and bulk sales. Maple Syrup Exports About 90% of total production from both Canada and the US is exported to more than 25 countries. For the 1997/98 season, export value reached a record of $108.6 million and quantity exported also reached a record of 23,447 tons (51.7 million lbs). Major export markets are the United States with 89% of total exports, Europe with 5% and Asia with 5%. Québec is the major exporter with 89% of total exports. For the 1998/99 season, exports are still expanding (value and quantity) despite the decrease in production. Maple products are mostly exported in retail sizes (60%) and in bulk (40%). As Canada’s export markets continue to grow in demand at the same time that production is shrinking, the opportunity for better prices is feasible. Indigenous people enjoy a well-known reputation in European countries, contacts made by White Earth in Germany for example have produced very positive results. The possibility of developing niche markets for indigenous maple syrup products in Europe is very real. Exports of maple syrup are growing steadily with new trade opportunities emerging in places such as Europe (Germany and France) and Asia. The maple industry recently presented a strategy to double its exports by the year 2002 to $240 million and 48 million kg (104 million lbs). The strategy includes mainly the development of a common generic trademark, promotion and the development of a specification book (from processors to the final customer). Exports have gone from $35 million to more that $100 million in less than 10 years. In Canada, this industry is only surpassed by frozen French fries in single commodity exports. Maple products are marketed all year long and have gone from being shipped in bulk size containers to retail size in only a few years. The industry is working on more promotion and an updated version of quality standards that should help penetrate new markets and sustain actual markets. In the past, maple products have been sold for as syrup products alone. Now the industry is looking to expend in the market of ingredients. Export Markets (in $000) Country 1995 1996 1997 1998 North Am. $62,208 $73,339 $81,131 $88,046 Europe $10,363 $15,916 $14,376 $16,758 Asia $4,649 $6,699 $6,632 $5,975 Oceania $1,666 $1,560 $1,847 $1,321 Africa South Am. -

TOTAL $80,422 $98,608 Source: Statistics Canada – Census



Québec remains the largest exporter in Canada with 90% of total sales at $ 101.6 million in 1998, while Ontario accounted for 7% and NB exported $2.1 million (1.8%) worth of maple products. Most of non-Québec exports are processed by Québec packers. 3 MARKET ANALYSIS Buying “Native made” is now synonymous with buying natural or organic products. This leaves substantial room for future expansion in the production and processing of locally produced, “authentic” heritage commodities which are able to achieve both organic certification as well as indigenous certification or labelling programs such as Native Trade. Native Harvest currently markets its products to the “natural, organic & heritage food” market. Below is an analysis of this market segment. 5.1 Vertical Market – NATURAL ORGANIC & HERITAGE FOODS MARKET The worldwide market of natural foods is reported to be US$55 billion and it is this market segment that will become Native Harvest’s primary target market by 2012. The greatest market share is in Europe and North America. In these nations, people have increasing concerns about health and environment, making certified organic food a natural solution. They also have aggressive promotion and supportive government policies to address the desire for greater organic food consumption. The markets considered to have the greatest value include: 1. USA at US$26.6 billion – 50% of consumers buy organic at least once per month; 2. Europe at US$25.5 billion – large importers of product because of poor growing conditions; 3. Germany at US$5.8 billion – considered the heaviest organic consumers within Europe; 4. Minnesota at US$69 million – considered one of the fastest growing markets in the US. Typically, a survey of processing markets by the USDA shows that for most organic commodities, a producer can obtain between two and three times the conventional market price. Market opportunities for natural and organic food are assisted by the proximity of the Canadian market in addition to the expanding US and Minnesota markets. European markets are also accessible through the organic food processors – and selling product in Europe may net good premiums of up to three times the conventional price. Total Market Size (US$ Turnover): The combined annual turnover of this market worldwide in 2010 is estimated to be approximately US$55 billion. Minnesota currently ranks 7th in the number of farms producing natural and organic foods and over 122,428 acres are certified organic. Minnesota reported 106 operations with land in transition to organic production. The total for all organic sales from Minnesota was $69,053,000.

Market Growth Rate: The growth of natural organic industries has been very significant in the past decade. This now global industry has been experiencing rapid and continuous rates of growth of between 20 – 35% a year, with consumer demand currently outstripping supply.1 This growth is driven out of a strong demand for products that meet health and food safety concerns, and natural foods are valued for their utilisation of food production system that ensure food integrity. Market Micro-Segmentation: There are four horizontal market segments that Native Harvest will target in year one. These are (1) Retail to specialized customers of gift baskets and continued internet sales, 2) Natural Organic and Fair Trade Stores and Distributors (3) Farmers Markets (4) Native American "friendly" Corporations, Museums & Casinos.”30

Session 8: Re-envisioning Tribal Economics Module Topics Readings From the text: 8

TOPICS – Module 8: Re-envisioning Tribal Economics ? DAY 1: 1 2 3 4 DAY 2: 5 6 7

8 9 DAY 3: 10 11 12 13 14

Bibliography: Takoko, Mere. Native Harvest Marketing Plan. Callaway: White Earth Land Recovery project, 2011.
1 2

Laduke, Winona. WELRP Food Sovereignty Report 2008. Callaway, MN, 2008. The survey included the following breakdown of respondents by township: Bejou (0 households, 0 individuals), Callaway (19 households, 87 individuals), Elbow Lake (3 households, 5 individuals), Mahnomen. 3 1 households had no enrolled members and 14 did not specify. 4 This number is likely a gross underestimate. Because of the way the survey was designed, many households simply said that they spent “$300 or more,” rather than providing the exact amount of their food expenditures which were sometimes upwards of $1000. this number should not be interpreted to mean the amount that reservation households contribute to the economy through their food purchases, since many households use food stamps. 5 Of the 5 Rice Lake households who reported shopping locally, only 2 provided information, which was not enough to be statistically valid. The percentage of their purchases in the local food economy was not even 1%. 6 The number who shop in Fosston may be significantly higher than reported since households had to write it in rather than select if off a prepared list. 7 These numbers, like that for local expenditures, were averaged only across those families that stated that they shopped in the particular location and provided an estimate of their expenditure. 8 A partial listing of state and federal programs includes: the Food Stamp Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Special Milk Program, the Summer Food Service Program, Nutrition Programs of the Elderly Program of the USDHHS, the USDA’s Food Distribution on Indian Reservations Program (FDIRP), and the Minnesota Families Investment Program (MFIP). 9 Information provided by the White Earth Food Distribution Program office and 10 Information provided by the White Earth Head Start office. 11 Information provided by the COL and Naytahwaush school offices. 12 Information provided by the Mahnomen and Waubun—Ogema—White Earth school offices and 13 Information provided by the COL school office, Waubun—Ogema—White Earth school office and 14 Information for Naytahwaush was not available, but based on the budgets of the other schools, a conservative estimate would be about $500 per student, or $37,000 per year. 15 Information provided by the White Earth WIC office. 16 Information provided by the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe office and the White Earth Elderly Nutrition Programs office.


Although Becker and Clearwater counties include reservation land and serve reservation communities, social service agencies in these counties were only able to provide county wide statistics. However, because 5,190 individuals, or 56% of the reservation population lives in Mahnomen county where the following statistics are gathered, a good estimate of the reservation total would be to multiply all numbers by a factor of 1.771, keeping in mind that this is likely an underestimate as Mahnomen County includes more communities with a higher per capita income (3 of the 5) and fewer communities with lower per capita income (1 of the 5). 18 “Anishinaabeg Today.” Vol. 13, No. 7. Wednesday, May 21, 2008. White Earth, MN. 19 Information provided by Helping Hands. 20 Information provided by Mahnomen County Human Services department. 21 Information provided by Mahnomen County Human Services department. 22 Calculated for the whole reservation that is 827,720 a month or $9,932,638 annually of which $8,550,251 goes off the reservation. 23 Because the amount distributed of each type of voucher (infant at $135-$168,000 or child at $45) was not available, estimates for WIC numbers were arrived at by multiplying the total number of vouchers issued per month (2,655) by the number of months (12) by the lowest possible voucher value (45). Because Food Stamp information was available only for Mahnomen county which represents 56% of the reservation population, estimates for total food stamp dollars were reached by multiplying the total value of stamps distributed in Mahnomen county ($65,851) by the number of months (12) by a factor of 1.771. Because the total budget for Naytahwaush charter school was not available, the total pre-K through 12 budget was arrived at by multiplying the number of students at Naytahwaush (74) by the amount spent per student per year at a similar school ($512.5), Pine Point not counting the Farm to School budget, and then adding that to the total for the other schools ($497,845). Because the total budget for Minnesota Chippewa Tribes elderly nutrition center was not available, an estimate was arrived at by taking the per person per year budget for White Earth’s program ($1134) and multiplying that by the number of elders served through the MCT’s program (35) and adding that to the White Earth numbers ($245,000). That number does not count direct food assistance through the commodities programs or food shelves. 24 This assumes the same 86% percent of individuals shopping off-reservation with WIC and Food Stamps as with cash/check/credit. Because most institutions estimated they spent around 85-100% of their food dollars on national companies and then another 5-10% at Minnesota or North Dakota-based but not reservation-based food and supply companies, I estimated at 5% for the amount of institutional purchases made on-reservation. 25 Information provided by White Earth Natural Resources Department. 26 The survey asked only about transportation costs in general, not transportation costs for shopping trips. However, especially given the high unemployment rate, shopping trips are likely responsible for a significant proportion of transportation costs. 27 According to the 2000 Census, of the individuals on the reservation that worked, 81% (and 86% of American Indian respondents) drove alone or carpooled using a private vehicle to their place of employment. Their average commute time was 26.5 minutes one way. There is no reason to believe that the number of people driving and their driving time would be substantially different for grocery trips. 28 The results tended to vary quite a bit household to household because some respondents calculated the amount they were spending solely on gas while others included car insurance and car loan payments. 29 Shepherd,K., Gunner,E.,Brown,H. 2010, The Market Opportunity for Global Organic Products, Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA, Adelaide. 30 Takoko, Mere. Native Harvest Marketing Plan. Callaway: White Earth Land Recovery project, 2011.

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