Old Traditions

Dream: Teach that land and water are a gift to unite kin and community; to sustain community over time; and to provide intergenerational respect and agrarian learning.

Dream: Teach that all wild and cultivated animals and plants are dependent on each other. Retain respect and give thanks to them for sustaining us and the beauties of New Mexico.

New Traditions

The dreams look to “new traditions” because our modern world has made a return to “old days” impossible. No one wants to revert from iron shovels to digging sticks or give up imported livestock such a Churro sheep or cattle. Few can live without cars and concentrated populations need imported food as well as better food.

Indo-Hispanic children suffer more diabetes II and cardiovascular harm than other sectors of the population. The new tradition picks the best of old ways and combines them with the best of new technologies. It keeps the moral economy dominant over the purely money economy.

Dream: Elders, traditional farmers, schoolteachers and programs encourage a shift in food culture from “fast, cheap and easy” to local and traditional.

Dream: Codify agro-ecoregion practices for agrarian life with the best strategies of both Indo- Hispanic traditions and modern, sustainable agro-pastoralism. Create a more locale-appropriate foundation for small livestock and irrigation agriculture with direct sales to midsize markets.

Dream: Expand the preservation of biocultural crops and agro-ecosystems by “food events” that augment traditional ceremonies. Build seed banks and seed libraries to complement hand-me-down traditions. Recover and manage bison, deer and elk.

Dream: Tribes, acequias, coops and private-public partnerships build new markets for traditional, medicinal and staple crops with already existing distributors

Agrarian Justice

The last 200 years of federal policy toward Native American and Hispano communities have reduced their control of land and water, disrupted traditional agricultural practices, and dramatically changed diets. Indo-Hispanic farm workers, farmers, and grocery workers, low-income families, the elderly and kids have not received equitable treatment compared with mainstream American society. This inequality comes, in part, from the geographic remoteness of the populations; political corruption within communities; the massmarket orientation of many tribal councils; the increasing dependence on federal food and welfare; inadequate federal assistance for rural economic and nutrition-related programs; and the relentless promotion of junk foods. Yet, overwhelmingly, the inequality has been driven by the enclosure of millions of acres of ancestral lands (tribal and then Mexican American) to establish public domain and control over water rights.

Dream: Equitable access to public land and open space resources that shows preferential respect for long-term farmers and ranchers. Custom design public land grazing management to meet the needs of impoverished Hispanic communities and carrying capacity that favors regeneration of pastures. Wild game licensing that gives economic rewards for communities that support elk, deer and bison.

Dream: Provide access to private-sector credit markets, protection against land loss from predatory lending policies, and rules to manage real-estate speculation and rural gentrification.

Dream: An equitable distribution of research in land grant colleges, government payments, extension services, agro- and techno-scientific research, census recognition, rural economic development funds, school programs custom-designed to reinforce farming traditions, and nutritional health prevention interventions.

Dream: Similar to many limited-resource communities, access to healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, better and closer stores, and a revival of home/family gardens.

Dream: End the persistent patterns of inequality in the enforcement of environmental and legal protections, including standards that have led to the disproportionate exposure of Indo-Hispanics to safety and environmental risks.