MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 25, 2013

Indigenous food program starts at UA


— TAHLEQUAH — Former Cherokee Supreme Court Justice Stacy Leeds is using her leadership to help Native American communities start sustainable food and agriculture programs.

Leeds helped launch the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative this month at the University of Arkansas, where she is the dean of the law school. She lives in Tahlequah.

“The initiative is all about helping tribes build their own infrastructure instead of having to rely on other people and sources,” said Leeds, who will serve as an initiative consultant.

The program offers instruction and tax clinics, where people can be advised on the tax issues of receiving legal judgment funds from class action lawsuits. A long-term goal of the initiative is to assist tribes with trust land regulations and ensure success for Native American farmers wishing to grow crops or raise livestock on their land. The food produced will be used within their community and region.

Information: (479) 575-4699.