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As Congress Begins Work On Farm Bill, Chairman Schatz Leads Roundtable Discussion On Native Agricultural Priorities, Hears From Native Leaders From Hawai‘i And Across The Country

WASHINGTON – As Congress begins working on the sweeping agricultural and food policy legislation known as the Farm Bill, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today led a roundtable discussion with Native leaders from Hawai‘i and across the country to hear about the issues critical to their communities and discuss how the federal government can help. Mahina Paishon-Duarte, co-founder of ?Aina Aloha Economic Futures, joined the discussion with other Native leaders.

“The Farm Bill is massive and has real impacts on what we eat and where and how our food is produced. That’s why we need input from everyone, including Native communities who have historically been left out of these conversations. Our discussion today with Native leaders from Hawai‘i and across the country will help us write a fairer, stronger Farm Bill – one that reflects Native voices and supports Indigenous food systems,” said Chairman Schatz.

In addition to Mahina Paishon-Duarte, other panelists include:

  • Madeline Soboleff Levy, General Counsel, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
  • Kelsey Scott, Director of Programs, Intertribal Agriculture Council
  • Ryan Lankford, Native Producer/Chair, Fort Belknap Indian Community/Montana State FSA Committee
  • Vincent Cowboy, Chief Operations Officer, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry
  • Trent Kissee, Division of Agriculture Director, Muscogee Creek Nation
  • Mary Greene Trottier, Food Distribution Director for Spirit Lake & President for the National Association of Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations
  • Dustin Schmidt, Producer, Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Video of Chairman Schatz’s roundtable discussion is available here.